Michael W. Bradley sworn in as new associate circuit judge

Saturday, April 16, 2011 | 3:59 p.m. CDT; updated 10:23 p.m. CDT, Saturday, April 16, 2011
Attorney Michael Bradley, with his wife, Katie, holding the Bible and presiding Judge Gary Oxenhandler leading the ceremony, is sworn in as the new associate circuit judge for the 13th Circuit Court at the Boone County Courthouse in Columbia on Saturday.

COLUMBIA — His Saturday morning started off like any other. Michael Bradley and his wife, Katie, went to Lakota Coffee to meet up with about 20 other friends for their regular morning drinks and conversation.

But after coffee, there was something different.

He mentioned he would be heading to the court house for his swearing-in ceremony, inviting them to come along, if they could.

Michael Bradley was sworn in as an associate circuit judge for Boone County on Saturday morning.

"We tried to stick to our regular Saturday morning routine," Katie Bradley said. "He's been very excited."

Gov. Jay Nixon made the appointment on Friday, but Michael Bradley knew earlier in the week to expect the call.

"Talking to Gov. Nixon on the phone and the governor expressing his confidence in me is something I'll never forget," Michael Bradley said.

He described Saturday morning as "interesting."

The first two to arrive at the courthouse, Gene and Pat Gerke, came over from Lakota Coffee and took their seats two rows back in the gallery. It was Gene Gerke's first ceremony for a judge.

Circuit Judge Gary Oxenhandler presided over the swearing in ceremony at 9 a.m. He talked about the history of Boone County's first circuit judge, David Todd, whose niece was Mary Todd, Abraham Lincoln's wife.

He then called up "Mike" and Katie Bradley, who held the Bible as her husband was sworn in. She then helped him slip into his robe.

As the new judge finished zipping up the front of his robe, Oxenhandler said, "We normally do this in private, so he's under a lot of pressure."

Michael Bradley expressed his gratitude to Nixon, who was not present.

"I would like to thank Gov. Nixon for the amount of confidence he has bestowed in me," Michael Bradley said.

With that, Oxenhandler said, "Court is recessed," and the 12 attendees in the gallery chuckled.

Mary Ellen Bradley, Michael Bradley's mother, attended the ceremony. She was happy that her son will be working in Boone County so he will not have to commute back and fourth between Jefferson City and Columbia any more.

"I'm also happy that he's a judge," Mary Ellen Bradley said. "I'm very proud of him. I'm always proud of him."

The only person Michael Bradley wished had been at the ceremony was his father, who died in 1995.

The new judge is looking forward to starting work. He has been meeting with Circuit Judge Christine Carpenter, whom he is taking over for. He will handle division nine criminal and alternative sentencing cases.

"She's been bringing me up to speed on the cases," Michael Bradley said. "She's been very helpful."

After the ceremony, the new judge took off his robes to change into his MU apparel for the Black and Gold Game.

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