Sargeant sworn in as District Court Judge
Jon Sargeant poses with his family after being sworn-in as District Court Judge. Photo by Junious Smith III / Neuse News
Jon Sargeant will have a new position in the courtroom.
Sargeant, a long-time lawyer and former chairman of the Lenoir County School board, was appointed as a district court judge Tuesday morning at the Lenoir County Courthouse. Sargeant, a Kinston High School graduate, had worked with the law firm Gerrans, Foster and Sargeant for 22 years and was the school board chairman since 2013 before being approved by Gov. Roy Cooper as a District 8 judge, spanning Lenoir, Wayne and Greene counties.
During his speech after the administration of Oath of Office from Senior Resident Superior Court Judge Imelda Pate, Sargeant said, “I don’t think I’ve ever been speechless in a courtroom before,” drawing laughs before thanking everyone who helped him along the way.
“I’m just excited and honored to join the bench with some great district court judges,” he said. “I feel blessed to have so much support here while I get ready for this new experience.”
District Court Judge Ericka James said Sargeant’s experience will be beneficial on the board.
“I’m excited to have a lawyer on board with great experience with family law court,” James said. “He’s been great in the community — when we had the School-Justice Partnership agreement (in May), Jon was very instrumental in the process.”
Pate said Sargeant’s ethics are a very strong trait.
“Jon is a man of high character and I’m honored to have him on the bench,” Pate said. “He’ll do a great job.”
Laurel Sargeant, Jon’s wife of 25 years, said she was thankful for the multitude of supporters throughout the time of the announcement and the ceremony.
“I’m a little overwhelmed,” she said. “Jon has so many supporters and we’re all proud of him. I believe in his abilities to do the job and ready for this new journey. It was a really touching moment.”
Sargeant’s children, William and Abigail, presented their father with his new robe and said he will use it to the best of his abilities.
“I’m very proud of my dad,” William Sargeant said. “He’s well-suited for judgeship and I’m looking forward to his new experience. I know he’ll do well.”
Abigail Sargeant shared similar sentiments.
“I’m really excited for him and I know he’ll do his part to help out the community,” she said.
Billy Strickland of Strickland, Agner and Associates said he was really happy for the new judge and what he’ll be able to do for the community as a judge.
“It’s great to have a high-caliber man to be serving,” Strickland said. “He has a servant’s heart and that quality needs to be on the bench.”