County resident sworn in Monday

Shelby County’s own Beth Chapman was sworn in Monday as Alabama’s State Auditor, fifth in succession to the governor.

The inauguration ceremony was held on the Dexter Avenue steps of the Capitol Building in Montgomery in conjunction with the inaugurations of Bob Riley as Alabama’s 57th governor; Lucy Baxley as the state’s first female lieutenant governor; Bill Pryor as Attorney General; Nancy Worley as Secretary of State; Ron Sparks as Commissioner of Agriculture and Industry; and Kay Ivey as State Treasurer.

Chapman thanked her family, friends and supporters for their confidence in electing her to one of only seven Constitutional offices in the state.

The oath of office was administered by Shelby County Juvenile Court Judge Patti Smith while Chapman’s husband, James, and sons, Taylor, 12, and Thatcher, 9, held her Bible.

Chapman was joined in Montgomery by her parents and brothers, her recently appointed chief clerk Barbara Parker and family of Shelby County and a number of friends and colleagues, many of whom also hailed from Shelby County.

Following the inauguration, Chapman and her family rode in the parade up Dexter Avenue and then traveled back to her Capitol office for a reception.

Shelby Countians turned out en masse for the reception to offer congratulations. Among those who made the trip were County Commissioners Lindsey Allison and Larry Dillard along with his wife, Marti.

Also in attendance was Shelby County’s new Sheriff Chris Curry, Probate Judge Patricia Fuhrmeister, Mayor Gene Weingarten, Rep. Cam Ward and wife, Julie, Carol Hill and son, Hunter, and many more.

Chapman began work on Tuesday morning at 7:30 a.m. at her Capitol office.

Chapman won the election last November against Democratic candidate Carolyn Gibson, a virtual incumbent, with the second highest vote total in the November 2002 election.

&uot;I feel a great responsiblity to the people who elected me and will work hard to see that their best interests are met,&uot; Chapman has said.

The state auditor post-audits the office of the state treasurer and the department of finance; maintains a central inventory of the state’s fixed assets; and performs audits of equipment in each state agency every two years.

The auditor also appoints one of three registrars for 66 of Alabama’s 67 counties.

In addition, the auditor serves on the state’s Board of Adjustment, Board of Appointments for Board of Registrars, Board of Compromise, Alabama Education Authority and the board of the Penny Trust Fund.

Chapman has been a leader in Shelby County for some time.

She currently serves as executive director for Shelby County Court Appointed Special Advocates, having established the CASA Roast, an annual and successful fund-raising event.

She previously served on the Planning Commission and is a graduate of Leadership Shelby County.

She has also served as fundraiser for The Owens House and Shelby County’s DAY (Developing Alabama’s Youth) Program