Judge sworn in with hand on dictionary

Jan. 3, 2010 at 11:30 PM

KINGSTON, N.Y., Jan. 3 (UPI) -- A judge in New York state took the oath of office with his hand placed on a dictionary rather than a book of scripture because officials could find no Bible.

The glitch, in a packed courtroom of the historic Ulster County Courthouse in Kingston, N.Y., provided "a light moment" in the swearing-in of Donald A. Williams as Ulster County judge, the Daily Freeman of Kingston reported Sunday.

Williams said later he didn't mind using a dictionary instead of a Bible because the swearing-in Saturday was purely ceremonial.

The former district attorney, a Republican, officially became the county judge Friday.

U.S. government officials are not required to swear in on a Bible, but most do so as a demonstration of the binding nature of the promise. The act also adds solemnity to the ceremony.

Most officials use their own family Bible.

Follow us on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram for more news from UPI.com
Related UPI Stories
share with facebook
share with twitter
Trending Stories