was sworn in Friday as a family law judge who will serve the First Judicial Circuit of West Virginia.
Chief Judge Arthur Recht, with other 1st Circuit judges Martin Gaughan and James Mazzone looking on, swore in Chernenko
, who will have to run in the next election to retain her
is a Democrat.
, of Wellsburg, was appointed to the position on Oct. 1, 1999, by Gaughan.
"I thought she had great qualifications,'' said Gaughan, who worked with Chernenko
was she was a family law master.
explained that prior to these changes, the family law masters made recommendations to the judges, but now the law judges will be making the final decisions.
"I'd like to thank my family and friends who have supported my career path and it's nice they've come here for this,'' said Chernenko
in front of a crowded Brooke County courtroom. She also thanked the circuit judges and several elected officials for their help over the years and also while she served for two years as president of the Family Court Association.
Other officials and attorneys throughout the 1st Judicial Circuit also were in attendance.
"Today is a milestone.I'm very pleased to be able to serve the citizens of the First Circuit,'' said Chernenko
, "and also pleased to be one of 35 family law judges who are being sworn in across the state.'' She
explained that the number of law judges in the districts depends on the case loads.
Attorney William Watson, who Chernenko
worked with for 15 years, presented her
with an engraved gavel, which marked the date of being sworn in to the position, which is a six-year term.
...Chernenko earned a law degree from West Virginia University in 1981.
"We serve the counties in the 1st Circuit,'' explained Chernenko Friday.
The offices are located in the Ohio County Courthouse annex in Wheeling.
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