By Sharyn L. Decker
Lewis County Sirens news reporter
CHEHALIS – Newly sworn in Lewis County Superior Court Judge Andrew Toynbee vowed to work hard, be diligent and be prepared as he faced his peers, friends, family and co-workers old and new today.
“I’ll treat everyone with respect, regardless of who they are,” he said.
The Adna resident was sworn into his new role by outgoing Lewis County Superior Court Judge Nelson Hunt this afternoon.
“This is a very pleasurable moment for me, because I know we’ve got a great judge coming,” Hunt said.
Hunt told the gathered crowd he’d hired Toynbee back in the 1990s for his first job, in the Lewis County Prosecutor’s Office when Hunt was the elected prosecutor.
The swearing in ceremony was held in department one, which Hunt has presided over since after he was first elected in 2004.
The benches were nearly full, extra chairs were brought in and the front row of the jury box held sitting judges from Lewis County, Thurston County and the Washington State Court of Appeals.
Toynbee ran unopposed for the seat in November and leaves behind his workplace, the Thurston County Prosecutor’s Office.
Thurston County Prosecutor Jon Tunheim spoke today as well, praising Toynbee’s style as calm and gentle, calling him a genuinely authentic person.
“I can’t imagine a person who is better suited for this position,” Tunheim said.
After he was sworn in, presented with his robe and gavel, Toynbee took his seat at the bench, his voice sometimes breaking as he expressed gratitude for those who’ve helped him along the way.
Honesty, integrity, authenticity and humility were some of the traits he said he’s learned more about from others.
“I thank you all for helping prepare me for this position,” he said.
Lewis County Superior Court Judge Richard Brosey is retiring this week as well. Judge-Elect Joely O’Rourke will be sworn in on Monday.
Toynbee and O’Rourke are joining Judge James Lawler and Commissioner Tracy Mitchell in Lewis County Superior Court.