By Louie Graves
On Friday, New Year’s Day, the Howard County courthouse was closed, quiet and dark except for two hours of flurry in the morning.
Oaths of office were given, and the Howard County Quorum Court met for 15 minutes to establish rules for meetings in 2021. Municipal officers from Nashville, Mineral Springs and Tollette were sworn in.
After a break, a unique ceremony took place — the investiture of Circuit Judge Bryan Chesshir.
Chesshir, who ran unopposed after serving several years as the judicial district’s prosecuting attorney, took his oath of office after being lauded by his predecessors, Judge Tom Cooper and Judge Charles Yeargan (retired). With the new judge were members of his family, and the audience included many of the attorneys, court personnel and law enforcement officers from the district which includes Howard, Sevier, Little River and Pike counties.
The invocation was given by Jay Chesshir of Little Rock, brother of the new judge, and the benediction was given by David Ponder of Nashville, brother-in-law of the new judge. While repeating the oath as given by Judge Yeargan, Judge Chesshir placed his hand on a Bible held by his wife, Kayla. They were surrounded by their
In his remarks before swearing in the new judge, Judge Yeargan said that the new judge would bring integrity and common sense to the office. By wearing the mantle of judge, your life is changed, Judge Yeargan added.
In his remarks, Judge Cooper noted that as prosecuting attorney of the district, he had hired Chesshir as his deputy.
Judge Chesshir thanked the people of the district for the opportunity to serve. He promised to be fair and impartial.
After Judge Chesshir was sworn, he in turn gave the oath of office to District Court Judge Jessica Steel-Gunter.
During the quorum court’s brief meeting earlier, the JPs voted to observe ‘Roberts Rules of Order’ for meetings and to continue to meet at noon on the third Monday of every month. All of the county’s JPs were present for the meeting and to take the oath of office. The lone new member of the court is D’Ann Rogers.