After 14 years, the Ray County Circuit Court Executive Judge seat will be occupied by someone else.
David H. Miller was sworn in as the next Eighth Judicial Circuit Executive Judge on Friday in the Division III courtroom in the Ray County Courthouse.
Miller takes over for Werner Moentmann, who is retiring after winning the 1994 election for the seat. Moentmann won re-election in 2000 and 2006. Moentmann filed paperwork with the governor’s office in November and Miller was appointed by Gov. Matt Blunt last month.
Miller has spent the last 20 years working in the Public Defender’s Office and supervised offices in 11 counties in northwest Missouri.
Miller was joined by Moentmann and several other judges, attorneys, elected officials and colleagues.
One of Miller’s colleagues that made the trip to witness the ceremony was Kelly Miller (no relation), who will be taking over for Miller at the Public Defender’s Office. Kelly Miller said he has worked with the judge for 15 years and said he is looking forward to working with David Miller in a different capacity.
“I have some big shoes to fill,” said Kelly Miller. “I’m very happy for David. He is very deserving and has a good temperament to be a judge.”
Miller thanked everyone for coming and said serving as a judge has been something that was always in the back of his mind. He said it wasn’t something he thought about on a day to day basis, but rather something he dreamed about.
“It’s quite an honor quite candidly,” he said. “I’ve thought about it for a long time. I welcome the challenge.”
Miller cautioned all of those who he will be working with, that there will be some adjustments and thanked those people in advance for having patience. He also said he welcomes any input anyone might have and to let him know if he does anything wrong.
“Hopefully, you’ll tell me before I do it,” he said with a laugh.
Moentmann will not be done entirely from the bench and will still serve in a senior judge status role that will allow him to preside over assigned cases if he chooses to do so.
Miller will face his first election in 2012.
Photo: Ray County Circuit Court Clerk Carolyne Conner administers the oath of office to Ray County Circuit Court Judge David Miller on Friday afternoon in the Division III Courtroom at the Ray County Courthouse. (Photo by Dennis Sharkey/The Daily News)