GALLIPOLIS — Eric Mulford was sworn-in as the new Gallipolis Municipal Judge Thursday afternoon by Ohio Fourth District Court of Appeals Judge Matthew McFarland in the Gallipolis Justice Center on Second Avenue.
The Gallipolis Municipal Courtroom offered standing-room-only as area officials, friends and supporters were there to witness Mulford’s appointment. Lt. Barry Call, of the Ohio State Highway Patrol, began the ceremony before shortly being followed by some words by McFarland. Vinton Baptist Church Pastor Heath Jenkins offered a brief prayer.
“It’s a true honor for the Mulford family and Gallia County,” said McFarland. “It’s a great honor for me to be a part of this and I will impart to Eric what was imparted to me by a friend of mine. Do your best, have fun and act right. The other thing I would tell you is to just remember what a federal judge told me about the court of appeals. Don’t fear reversal. It’s just the next best guess,” joked McFarland.
Mulford than placed his hand on the Bible and swore his oath by repeating after McFarland. Mulford swore to uphold the U.S. and Ohio Constitutions fairly and impartially.
“On behalf of the municipal court, my staff and myself, I want to thank you for giving up a little bit of your time this afternoon,” said Mulford. “I remarked with Judge (Margaret) Evans the other day that I am very pleased that there are no staff changes needed or wanted here. This has been a very easy transition and will continue to be a very easy transition. I’m looking forward to some great things to come to the county. Those of you who know me well will notice that the gentlemen here, Lt. Call, Pastor (Heath) Jenkins and Judge McFarland, each kind of represent one aspect or another of my career. It’s been a career that’s spanned appearing in courts all over southeastern Ohio under many different judges.”
Mulford was appointed in late December by Gov. John Kasich to serve as Judge Margaret Evans’ replacement after she was elected to the position of Gallia County Judge of Common Pleas Court. Mulford will finish the remainder of Evans’ term after she resigned as municipal judge to serve as common pleas judge. If Mulford wishes to serve a full-term, he will need to run in the November 2017 election.
Mulford is a graduate of the University of Rio Grande and received his law degree from Ohio Northern University. He has served as a partner and practicing attorney with Britt Wiseman as a part of Mulford and Wiseman. The pair also served as the assistant prosecutors to past Gallia County Prosecutor Jeff Adkins.
Mulford is a board member and park commissioner for the O.O. McIntyre Park District, was a past president of the Gallipolis Lions Club, serves as a member of the Gallia County Bar Association, the Ohio State bar Association, the Prosecuting Attorneys Association and the National District Attorneys Association.
Dean Wright can be reached at 740-446-2342, ext. 2103.