James Pohlmann sworn in early; officially becomes St. Bernard Parish sheriff at midnight Saturday; He gets ceremonial oath with new Clerk of Court Randy Nunez at 3 p.m. Sunday in Civic Center; Public invited
Incoming St. Bernard Parish Sheriff James Pohlmann took an early oath of office on Thursday from Louisiana Supreme Court Associate Justice John Weimer of Thibodeaux as sheriff’s staff members watched and said goodbye to retiring veteran Sheriff Jack A. Stephens.
Pohlmann, who won election last November after Stephens announced his retirement, officially becomes the new sheriff at midnight Saturday.
At 3 p.m. on Sunday, July 1, Pohlmann will have a ceremonial swearing-in with new Clerk of Court Randy Nunez and both their respective deputies will take oaths of office in an historic ceremony open to the public in the Frederick Sigur Civic Center in Chalmette.
For the first time since 1984 St. Bernard Parish will see a new sheriff in office and for the first time since 1956 the Clerk of Court position will pass from the Torres family. Lena Torres has served as the Clerk of Court since the death of her husband, Sidney Torres Jr., in 1988, who had served as Clerk since 1956.
Pohlmann, a 28-year veteran of the department, told sheriff’s employees and Sheriff Stephens he is anxious to get to work as sheriff on Monday morning and glad to be over the long transition period that followed his election in a runoff last November.
“I am more nervous today than at any time during the campaign or the election,’’ Pohlmann said after he was sworn in by Weimer. “I am shaking in my skin.’’
Weimer, who represents a large area including St. Bernard on the Supreme Court, said he was honored to give the oath, saying he knows parish residents to be “resilient and tenacious,’’ as evidenced by the rebuilding after Hurricane Katrina.
Sheriff Stephens, retiring as the longest current serving sheriff in Louisiana, said he was proud to see Pohlmann sworn in. “I know in my heart it will be a good thing for this parish because he will e a good sheriff.’’ Pohlmann was Chief Deputy Sheriff under Stephens for four years and five months.
Stephens was sworn into office July 1, 1984, after winning election in October 1983, and has served seven terms in office, He is the second-longest serving sheriff in St. Bernard Parish history.
Nunez, an attorney, defeated Lena Torres in a November run-off to become Clerk of Court. Pohlmann and his deputies will take their oaths of office and Nunez and his deputy clerks will take their oaths in the ceremony in the front portion of the Civic Center on West Judge Perez Drive. Both Sheriff and Clerk of Court are 4-year terms with fiscal years that begin July 1.
Pohlmann and Nunez said the public is invited to attend the ceremony.