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New Toombs County Probate Judge Sworn Into Office

New Toombs County Probate  Judge Sworn Into Office New Toombs County Probate  Judge Sworn Into Office

A changing of the guard has occurred in the Toombs County Probate Office. On Wednesday, December 30, Tina S. Lindsey was duly sworn in as Judge of Probate Court, taking the helm from retiring Judge Larry Threlkeld, who has held the office for 12 years. Lindsey ran unopposed and was elected in June of 2020.

Family, friends and colleagues gathered in the main courtroom of the Toombs County Courthouse as Judge Tommy Smith of the Superior Court for the Middle Judicial Circuit administered two oaths for the office. Lindsey placed her left hand on her own King James Bible, which was a gift from her motherin- law, Geraldine Lindsey. The Bible was held for the swearing-in by Judge Lindsey’s husband, Keith. Lindsey raised her right hand to repeat first the loyalty oath of allegiance to the governments of the United States, the State of Georgia, and to Toombs County. The longer oath of office whereby Lindsey will “well and faithfully discharge the duties…according to law, to the best of my knowledge and ability, without favor or affection to any party” in her office of Judge, was then repeated.

Before the ceremony, Judge Threlkeld began the event with prayer and remarks about Lindsey’s service as Clerk of Probate Court. “It’s a pleasure and an honor for me to be asked to be a part of your welcome,” Threlkeld said to Judge Lindsey. In November of 2014, Judge Threlkeld informed the Toombs County Commissioners by letter of a newly-hired Clerk of Probate Court. He told the Commissioners at that time that Lindsey was highly recommended and affirmed by anyone whom he asked for a reference. Lindsey started her career in 1985 with the State of Georgia at Pineland Mental Health. In May of 2000 she moved to the Toombs County Department of Family and Children Services, and then to Adult Protective Services, where she served for 10 years, and retired from there, before joining Threlkeld’s team in the Probate Court office.

Threlkeld said of the passing of the judgeship from himself to Lindsey, “This is one of the most seamless transitions an office in the courthouse has made.” He continued, “It is a great office and people will appreciate the great service they are going to get. We are a service organization if there’s ever been one.”

Threlkeld also said, “I’m appreciative to the people who have voted for me over the years and helped us create a legacy of sorts of good service to the good people of Toombs County.”

Lindsey thanked the outgoing Judge Threlkeld, saying she has “been riding on his coattails for the past six years, learning everything I possibly could about the Probate Court and I appreciate his confidence in me. Thank you for your support.” Through tears, Lindsey thanked her parents, children, grandchildren, her extended family and friends, and especially her husband for their encouragement and confidence in her.

Judge Lindsey stated her objective for her new position: “The Probate Court will serve the general public and the citizens of Toombs County with integrity, respect, compassion and professionalism. We will work efficiently as a team to ensure the highest standard of service within our office.” The “two very capable people” who will complete the Probate Court team as clerks are Diane Stripling, who has served since 2008, and Angelia Sanders, who was hired in September of 2020, Judge Threlkeld said.

The office of Probate Judge is one of four county positions that draws its authority from the state constitution and does not fall under the authority of the board of commissioners. The other constitutional officers are sheriff, superior court clerk, and tax commissioner. The probate judge is elected for a fouryear term in countywide partisan elections. The powers and duties of these officers are determined by general law and not on a county-by-county basis. The general duties of the probate judge are judicial, ministerial, and clerical.

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