Pinellas County commissioners sworn in
New Pinellas County Commissioner Norm Roche was sworn into office Tuesday morning along with re-elected Commissioners Susan Latvala, 61, and John Morroni, 55.
Roche, 48, has a name plate on his office, but county staff are still preparing his new digs. Boxes from former office resident Commissioner Karen Seel await a move to her new office on the fifth floor of the courthouse in Clearwater. About 8:45, assistant county attorney Sarah Richardson arrived to have Roche sign his oath of office.
"Good morning, Sarah. What did I do? Am I already in trouble?" asked Roche from his office as family stood around him.
Roche, a Republican who lost three previous tries at running for the commission, is the first challenger to unseat an incumbent county commissioner since 1992 in Pinellas. He defeated Democrat Calvin Harris in an unexpected win among the Republican surge on Nov. 2. Roche was sworn in by Rev. Tom Farmer, closing with "so help me God."
"You'll need it, God bless you," Farmer said.
Judges Jack St. Arnold and Tom Minkoff swore in Latvala and Morroni, respectively. Both Republican commissioners were first elected in 2000.
There were no remarks, though Roche led the board in the Pledge of Allegiance.