Former Muskogee County District Attorney Orvil Loge, who now is a special district judge, swore in his successor, Larry Edwards, at the Muskogee County Courthouse today. Edwards was appointed to the district attorney position by Gov. Kevin Stitt last week.
District Judge Bret Smith had words of wisdom for the new DA, who he said he has known for 30 years.
“As district attorney, you have the opportunity to … embrace medication assisted treatment (for drug-addicted offenders),” he said. “The way we treated them in the past by locking them up and throwing away the key does not work. It destroys families, it destroys homes and destroys lives. As district attorney, it comes from you. Judges are not in the business of brokering deals. It starts with the district attorney telling defenses ‘this is a new way forward; this is a way we can truly make a difference.’”
Edwards, who came to Muskogee from Tulsa as Loge’s first assistant DA, thanked former Assistant DA Nalani Ching, without whom, he said, Loge would have never heard his name to think to hire him as assistant.
Muskogee mayor Marlon Coleman opened and closed the ceremony with prayers.
In related news, Edwards’ assistant Jessie Heidlage will be honored tomorrow at the Oklahoma State Capitol for excellence in action against domestic violence at 1:30 p.m., Edwards said.