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Kelly, O'Keefe make it legal

With cast and sling, Marty Kelly was sworn in Dec. 28 at the Goodhue County Courthouse. Last month, the sheriff=elect sustained serious injuries while cutting wood, resulting in injuries including broken ribs, vertebrae, hands and wrist. Kelly said after his swearing in that he is ready to be the best sheriff Goodhue County has ever had. Matthew Lambert / RiverTown Multimedia 1 / 2
Stephen O'Keefe ran unopposed during the November midterm election to replace longtime Goodhue County Attorney Stephen Betcher. O'Keefe, an assistant county attorney, took the oath of office on Dec. 28, thanking his friends, family and colleagues for their support. Matthew Lambert / RiverTown Multimedia2 / 2

Goodhue County Attorney-elect Stephen O'Keefe and Sheriff-elect Marty Kelly were sworn in Dec. 28 at the Goodhue County Justice Center, with family, friends and colleagues in attendance.

First District Judge Kevin F. Mark officiated, swearing in each man individually.

The swearings-in will be repeated for ceremonial purposes at the next two Goodhue County Board meetings. However, Friday's ceremony was conducted because the board's usual organizational meeting date — the first Tuesday in January — falls on a holiday.

The terms for the current position holders, County Attorney Stephen Betcher and Interim Sheriff Kris Johnson, will expire at 11:59 p.m. Jan. 6, a Sunday, and O'Keefe and Kelly take over Jan. 7, according to Melissa Cushing, Human Resources director.

A ceremonial swearing-in will occur at the board's Jan. 8 for O'Keefe and then on Jan. 22 for Kelly. O'Keefe and Kelly may advocate for their wages during those respective meetings as well.

Kelly will not be at the Law Enforcement Center his couple of days in office because a daughter is getting married — and therefore he can't attend on Jan. 8.

After taking their oaths of office Friday, Kelly and O'Keefe kept their comments brief to the large group gathered in the courtroom. An emotional Kelly said he looks forward to being the best sheriff Goodhue County has seen and thanked those who supported him. O'Keefe similarly thanked his family and colleagues, including a special thank you to outgoing County Attorney Betcher for his guidance over the years.

Matthew Lambert

Matthew Lambert joined the Red Wing Republican Eagle in March 2018 covering school board, public safety, and writing features. Lambert previously wrote for the Pierce County Herald and River Falls Journal. He is a graduate of Winona State University with a Bachelor's degree in Mass Communication: Journalism. 

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