Billings attorney Jeanne Walker took office as Yellowstone County’s newest justice of the peace when she was sworn in on Thursday afternoon.
Family, friends and county officials attended the brief ceremony in the county commission’s board room in the courthouse.
State District Judge Gregory Todd administered the oath to Walker, his former law clerk.
Todd called Walker’s appointment by commissioners “a great choice” and called it “a great honor” to swear in Walker, something he had done before.
“I had the privilege of swearing her into the bar,” the judge said.
Additionally, Todd officiated the wedding of Walker and her husband, Fred Snodgrass, also an attorney.
“I think she has the ability. She has the temperament. She’ll do a great job,” Todd told the gathering.
Walker thanked everyone for coming. “I can’t wait to get started,” she said.
Commissioners appointed Walker to the job on Tuesday after interviewing three candidates. Walker fills a vacancy created when former Justice of the Peace Pedro Hernandez retired on Nov. 30.
Walker has said she will run for election to the post when the current, four-year term expires next year. She has already filed paperwork to set up her campaign.
The job pays an annual salary of $101,082. The county has two justices of the peace. Judge David Carter is the other justice of the peace.
Walker was a partner in the Fred Law Firm and Associates, established by her husband. Walker also started and ran her own law firm for 10 years. Her practice included criminal defense, family law, wills and estates and appellate cases.
In addition, Walker has served as a temporary judge in justice court and Billings municipal court.
Walker is a graduate of Skyview High School, Montana State University Billings and the Alexander Blewett III School of Law at the University of Montana.