MORGANTOWN, W.Va. (WBOY) — Judge Susan B. Tucker retired on April 28, leaving a void in the Seventeenth Judicial Circuit Court in Monongalia County. Her replacement, Paul W. Gwaltney Jr., was sworn in on Friday in front of a packed, standing-room-only crowd at the Monongalia County Justice Center.

“The fact that so many are here to celebrate this opportunity to serve the citizens of Monongalia County as Circuit Judge recognizing that I come with a sincere desire to get things right,” Gwaltney said. “[I] will work hard to be the consistent judge that they deserve.”

Gwaltney was appointed by Governor Jim Justice to fill the position. Senior Status Circuit Judge Russell M. Clawges Jr. delivered the oath of office.

Gwaltney’s wife putting the robe on him (WBOY – Image)

“I greatly appreciate that,” Gwaltney said when asked about Governor Justice appointing him. “Him reaching out was very appreciative.”

Gwaltney’s family partook in the ceremony as his daughters held the bible he swore upon while his wife conducted his robing ceremony.

Gwaltney has been practicing law for around the past 20 years and recently opened his own law office, Gwaltney Law Office, in December 2020. His office primarily specializes in representing individuals in criminal and juvenile abuse cases.

Gwaltney was an undergrad student at Bob Jones University in South Carolina. He then graduated from the WVU School of Law in 2003, where he finished in the top 15% of his class.