MORGANTOWN, W.Va. – On Thursday morning, Magistrate Ron Bane was sworn into his new role as Monongalia County Division 1 Magistrate.
Bane was sworn in at the Monongalia Justice Center in front of more than a dozen people including family, friends and colleagues. He was sworn in using a bible that is a family heirloom.
“This bible was given to my father in 1967, my grandmother died when I was two and it’s been in the family this whole time,” Bane said. “It’s usually in a cedar case, but I got this out for this time. This was to honor my grandmother.”
After winning with 51.6% of the vote in June, Bane will transition into Magistrate Hershel Mullins’ seat, Mullins passed away on June 13.
“It happened faster than I thought, it’s under very strange circumstances,” Bane said. “We didn’t want to make too much of this, the loss of Hershel is something the whole community is still mourning over so we took this with a very cautious way. When I got the offer there was no way I was not going to take it because this is what I ran for because this is what I want to do.”
In order to prepare for the job, Bane said he had to undergo a magistrate training process. He said the training goes over general procedures and spends a lot of time reviewing the computer system for filling information.
He said he finished his training on Tuesday and feels like he is ready to get started, although he admitted there will be challenges. The COVID-19 pandemic has changed how the court operates in ways like requiring temperature checks before entering the Justice Center and the wearing of masks by all persons in the building, as well as using video conferencing.
“A lot of video arraignments, which I’ve got to get used to,” Bane said. “I’ve been training for the last — how long Amy? I’ve been coming in about three days a week, working with the other magistrates, trying to learn how this goes and learning the technology, that’s been the biggest hurdle for me.”
Amy White, Bane’s assistant, formerly Mullins’ assistant, was also sworn in in Thursday morning.