Franklin County seats new judges and elected officials

Shawn Meyers addressed the public after his swearing in as judge for the Franklin County Court of Common Pleas on Jan. 4.
Seated from left are Angela Krom, Carol Van Horn, Douglas Herman and Richard Walsh.

Pomp in a relaxed atmosphere permeated Courtroom No. 1 Monday morning as two new judges took the oath of office for seats in the 39th Judicial District Court. Shawn Meyers and Angela Krom were sworn in by President Judge Douglas Herman, and Carol Van Horn was seated for her second 10-year term. The honorable Richard Walsh was also present at the ceremony in Chambersburg.

Meyers, former Franklin County solicitor and partner in Steiger, Steiger and Meyers, and Krom, former assistant district attorney, were elected in November, one to replace retiring John Walker and one to fill a newly-created seat in the Court of Common Pleas.

“I don’t know if I’ve ever seen standing room only in this courtroom,” said Herman. “This is a celebration. You don’t know how much judges Walsh, Van Horn and I have been looking forward to this moment.”

He noted the presence of the county bar association, county and state dignitaries, and the families and friends of all elected officials   attending the proceedings. Herman also paid tribute to state senator Terry Punt, buried the day before, and District Attorney Jack Nelson, who died in October.

With Franklin County about to be served by five judges, after two years of planning, he stated “prompt, affordable justice” would be available for all.

Public remarks

Meyers, who also served as solicitor for Antrim Township Municipal Authority for many years, resigning just last week, took the oath and then donned a black robe. He had trouble getting the zipper up.

“You’re going to have to work faster than that,” Herman joked, and the audience erupted into laughter.

Meyers took his place next to his judicial peers and then his wife Nancy asked permission to approach the bench. To the amusement of all, she handed Meyers his notes.

He addressed the crowded room.

“I wear this robe with pride and honor. I will uphold the rule of law, the United States and Pennsylvania Constitutions and justice in the 39th Judicial District.”

He had always aspired to a law career and appreciated the guidance of his parents, Helen Meyers and the late Robert Meyers Sr. and the support of his wife. He thanked his law partners, Thomas Steiger Jr. and the late Thomas Steiger Sr., “no two finer men.”

Meyers recalled watching his dad bang the gavel as an auctioneer. “Today Dad, I earned my gavel. Thank you.”

Krom thanked her husband Randy, son Riley, parents Sue and Ron Rosenberry, and extended family for their support.

“As I look around this incredible courtroom on this incredible day, there is sadness too, because my mentor Jack Nelson is not here to celebrate with me. I will carry on his values. He taught me ‘Do the right thing for the right reason’.”

She had found her dream job which melded her passion for the courtroom, love of the law and helping the community, she said.

John Keller, president of the Franklin County Bar Association, told the judicial panel his members had complete confidence in their fairness and legal abilities.

Meyers’ first official duty was to swear in David Secor, Franklin County treasurer. Krom did the same for jury commissioners William Butts and Allen Twigg.

They administered the oath of office to all public officials able to be present who were starting terms in January. For Meyers that included Greencastle Mayor Robert Eberly and Antrim Township Supervisor Fred Young III.

Duty beckoned almost immediately. The judges had the afternoon off, except Walsh, but all had a full schedule of court cases the rest of the week.