COVINGTON, Ga. - In front of friends and family, Newton County Chief Deputy Tax Commissioner Dana Darby was sworn in as tax commissioner in the Probate Court courtroom of Judge Melanie Bell Monday, Sept. 30.
Before the swearing-in commenced, Bell asked everyone in the room to join her in a word of prayer.
"We celebrate this wonderful day in Dana's life," she said. "We pray that you'll give her wisdom, strength and guidance in every decision she makes as she serves this community."
Bell gave two oaths during the ceremony - the loyalty oath and the official oath of tax commissioner. Following the two oaths, Newton County Sheriff Ezell Brown sworn Darby in as the county's ex officio sheriff, the person who collects taxes due to the state and county.
Retired Tax Commissioner Barbara Dingler, who served 34 years in the office, was in attendance at the ceremony and during Brown's speech, he showed thanks for her many years of service.
"I know this is Dana's day here but without Barbara, it would not be a Dana's day here," he said. "Barbara, thank you for working so closely with us over the years."
Darby said it felt "exciting" to be officially sworn in as the county's tax commissioner.
"I'm thankful to Barbara for giving me the opportunity 20 years ago," she said. "It's been a blessing, and I worked hard to be where I am today."
Darby will serve out the remainder of Dingler's term, which expires Dec. 31, 2020 and intends to run for a four-year term in the 2020 election. Her first day in the office as tax commissioner will be Wednesday, Oct. 2.