Mitchell takes judge’s oath

Chelle Delaney

Chief Judge William Lang of the Second Judicial District administered the oath of office to Albert J. “Scooter” Mitchell, Jr. on Monday.

Mitchell was sworn in as judge for the 10th Judicial District.

“I hope I live up to your expectations and mine,” Mitchell said. “And if I don’t I’m sure some of you will mention it.”

Attending the ceremony were more than 125 relatives, friends and well-wishers, including Mitchell’s wife Jeannette, who held a small Bible for the swearing in ceremony, and his two daughters, Olivia and Georgia.

Mitchell asked for a show of hands of relatives in the crowd and more than a dozen hands went up in the air.

Support from his large family, as well as friends, had helped him win the election, Mitchell said.

Mitchell won the judgeship in the November election defeating Judge Donald Schutte, who had served for 18 months. Schutte was appointed to the bench when Judge Ricky Purcell retired after serving 15 years.

Lang, who is from Albuquerque, said he was pleased to be part of the ceremony. He and Mitchell attended law school together and have remained friends since their years at the University of New Mexico Law School, Lang said.

Mitchell graduated from UNM Law School in 1984 and opened a law office in Tucumcari the same year.

Court Administrator Dianne Ulibarri said that she knew that Mitchell’s dream was to become a judge.

“His dream never changed … and today we celebrate Scooter’s dream.”