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Deputies, DA sworn back into office
New sheriff promotes three employees
Liberty County Sheriff Steve Sikes swears in deputy Michelle Poertner last week. After taking office the recently installed sheriff promoted Martin to advanced deputy. - photo by Photo provided.

The Liberty County Sheriff’s Office deputies, detectives and correctional officers officially were sworn in Wednesday by Sheriff Steve Sikes. The ceremonies continued Thursday morning when Liberty County Probate Judge Nancy K. Aspinwall administered the oath of office to Atlantic Judicial Circuit District Attorney Tom Durden, who is nearing 30 years of service in the circuit.
“One of the greatest privileges that the law bestows upon the judge of the probate court is to administer oaths of office to other officials and it’s my privilege and pleasure at this time to administer your oath of office,” Aspinwall said shortly before the ceremony, which took place in her courtroom.
Durden was joined by a group of supporters, co-workers and friends.
“I’ve been here nearly 30 years now and I appreciate everyone’s support,” Durden said before turning his attention to his co-workers. “We’ve been like a major league ball club. We’ve had some changes to the roster but we still have a great ball club and I appreciate all of your support. Without you all we couldn’t do what we do for the sheriff’s office, the other offices we serve and the citizens of the community.”
Durden said he has enjoyed being in public service with the Atlantic Judicial Circuit.
“As I hopefully have done for the past three terms, I will try and do an adequate job as your DA for the next four years,” he said. “I appreciate the support and look forward to the next four years.”
During Wednesday’s ceremony at the sheriff’s office on Paul Sikes Road, the new sheriff also promoted Gil Martin and Michelle Poertner to the positions of advance deputy and Stephen Wingate to corporal.

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