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Sheriff, elected officials take oaths of office

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SMITHFIELD — Elected officials began their new terms Monday during a swearing-in ceremony at the Johnston County Courthouse with Senior Resident Superior Court Judge Thomas H. Lock presiding.

Following a welcome and opening remarks by Lock, the Rev. John Norman Jr. of First Baptist Church in Four Oaks gave the invocation followed by the presentation of colors and pledge of allegiance by Marine Corps League Detachment 1236.

Johnston County Clerk of Superior Court Michelle Ball recognized visiting guests and dignitaries.

Lock swore in Michelle Ball as clerk, who then swore in her staff of assistant and deputy clerks as a group.

Lock swore in Steve Bizzell, who is beginning his sixth term as sheriff of Johnston County, and Craig Olive who’s served as Johnston County register of deeds for 16 years.

Oaths of office followed for Johnston County commissioners.

District Court Judge Joy Jones administered the oaths of office for Commissioners Chad Stewart and Tony Braswell.

Newcomer Patrick Harris was sworn in by District Court Judge Paul Holcombe and R.S. “Butch” Lawter, also a newcomer, was sworn in by Holcombe as well.

Johnston County Board of Education newcomer Terri Sessoms was sworn in by Benson Mayor Jerry Medlin and Ball administered the oath for newcomer Tracie Zukowski.

Incumbent Todd Sutton was out of state Monday and will be sworn in on Friday.

New members to be sworn in as Johnston County soil and water conservation district supervisors included John Langdon, Douglas Lee and Donald F. Rogers.

The Rev. Lee Colbert of First Baptist Church in Smithfield delivered the benediction prior to Lock adjourning the session.

At a ceremony held later in the morning 126 Johnston County sheriff’s deputies were sworn in as a group.