BELMONT COUNTY, Ohio (WTRF) – It was standing room only in the courtroom Friday as Chris Berhalter was sworn in as the new Belmont County Common Pleas Court judge.
Berhalter will fill the unexpired term of Judge Frank Fregiato, who recently retired citing health reasons.
Two fellow judges—Judge John Vavra and Judge Al Davies—both administered the oath of office.
Berhalter began his career in private law practice and as an assistant public defender, then became Belmont County prosecutor for nine years, then became judge of the county’s Northern Division Court for nearly 10 years.
Now he will be presiding over a common pleas courtroom.
“It wasn’t an easy decision to make,” Berhalter told the gathering. “I enjoyed what we were doing in Northern, what we were accomplishing, and of course I had a fantastic and outstanding staff at Northern that helped me do my job and do it well. But as I gave it serious thought, it was time to take what we were doing at Northern to the Court of Common Pleas, and to accept the new challenges.”
Berhalter thanked his mother, Vicki, for teaching him the values he holds dear.
And he thanked his wife, Vanessa, and their three children for their longstanding patience and support.
The courtroom was filled to capacity with law enforcement, court officials, county office-holders, friends and supporters who applauded when he was sworn in.
https://www.wtrf.com/top-stories/friends-and-colleagues-pack-the-courtroom-as-judge-is-sworn-in/ Friends and colleagues pack the courtroom as judge is sworn in