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Wermager sworn in as judge

Hastings attorney Tim Wermager is now a judge.

On Thursday, Jan. 24, in the community room at Hastings City Hall, Judge William Thuet presided at the official swearing-in ceremony.

Judge Richard Spicer was also part of the official ceremony held in the crowded room. The second-floor community room was the main courtroom in the building when the county occupied it.

Thuet, also a Hastings resident, is a former attorney from the same law firm that Wermager practiced with for many years. In his remarks, he mentioned the connection.

"What do Rex Stacy, Tom Bibus, me, and now Tim Wermager, have in common?" he asked. "We all were in law practice with Jim O'Connell. He's the judge maker."

He encouraged Wermager to practice the patience of Job, the wisdom of Solomon, the vengeance of Attila, and the compassion of Christ.

"I have practiced them all, but never all at once," said Thuet.

Thuet was sworn in as judge in 1983 and remembers being told to "do what is right." He urged Wermager to do the same.

People have described Wermager as kind, a good guy - fair and honest.

"I'll add one more," Thuet said. "Friend."

In his remarks, Wermager thanked everyone, including his law partners O'Connell and David Warg, his family, and friends.

"One of the reasons I wanted to have this ceremony here is because of the history here," Wermager said. "This is where we all started. I was hit with some memories when I walked in."

He recalled that one of his first cases was held before Judge Charles Gegen, now a practicing attorney in the area.

Wermager said Dakota County is held in high regard for its judicial practices.

"Attorneys like to practice here," he said. "They are treated fairly and with respect."

That pattern was begun by Judges Breunig (Robert), Mansur (Martin), and Hoey (George), Wermager noted. It continues today.

As he concluded his remarks, Wermager talked about a golf tournament in which professional golfer Don January won. The fans and officials were waiting for him on the 18th green.

As January approached them, he turned and said, "I'll be in the bar."

Wermager smiled and acknowledged that would continue to be his location, too.