PELL CITY – Lyle Harmon was sworn into office Wednesday as the new St. Clair County district attorney.
Former St. Clair District Attorney Richard Minor, who now serves as a judge on the Alabama Court of Criminal Appeals, administered the oath of office to Harmon in the packed courtroom upstairs at the county courthouse.
“It’s not everyday someone can swear-in their successor,” Minor said before administering the oath of office to his former chief assistant. It was Minor’s first official duty as a judge.
Minor served 14 years as the county’s district attorney and worked a total of 21 years in the St. Clair DA’s Office.
There was only standing room in the large courtroom as Harmon placed his left hand on a Bible and held his right hand up as he was administered the oath of office during the hour-long ceremony.
“There’s so many people here today who have been such an influence on my life,” Harmon said.
Harmon said he was surprised at the large crowd and the number of elected officials who attended.
“It’s quite humbling,” he said.
There were two former St. Clair District DAs at the ceremony in Minor and Van Davis, who retired from the office after 18 years of service.
“Those are the shoes you ask me to fill, and they are huge,” Harmon told the crowd.
Rep. Jim Hill, R-Springville, who was the master of ceremony, said he was certain Harmon could fill the role as the new district attorney
“I think you are cut from the same cloth,” Hill said.
Circuit Court Judge Bill Weathington spoke at the ceremony after Presiding Circuit Court Judge Phillip Seay was unable to attend because of sickness.
“I’m honored to be Lyle’s second choice,” Weathington joked.
Weathington said he had never heard anyone say a bad word about Harmon.
“Lyle is just a great guy,” he said. “He’s very humble, and you don’t see many attorneys who are … He’s a local guy who’s done really, really well.”
St. Clair County District Judge Robert Minor gave the invocation, and St. Clair County Circuit Court Clerk Annette Manning led the audience in the Pledge of Allegiance.
“This is a great day for Lyle and his family,” Weathington said. “He’s practiced law for a long time. He’s such a great guy and a hard worker.”
St. Clair County District Court Judge Alan Furr also spoke. He told Harmon his job was to serve and protect county residents, but most importantly, to “seek what is just.”
“Do what is right and seek justice above all else,” Furr told Harmon before the new district attorney was formally sworn into office.
Harmon was appointed by Gov. Kay Ivey two weeks ago to fill Richard Minor’s unexpired term or until Jan. 2022.
Harmon thanked his family and all the people who helped shape his life, making him accountable for his actions.
“I pledge to you to do what is in the best interest of St. Clair County,” Harmon said. “We have to do what’s right all the time, every time, for what’s best for the county.”
Harmon worked as St. Clair’s chief assistant district attorney the past two years.
The 51-year-old attorney grew up in Pell City and graduated from the local high school in 1986.
He received his undergraduate degree in business administration from Faulkner University before later graduating from the Birmingham School of Law.
Before returning to St. Clair County in private practice, Harmon worked as a deputy DA with the Jefferson County District Attorney’s Office.
Harmon also served as the prosecutor for the Pell City Municipal Court System and as the Pell City Board of Education attorney.
He is a former president of the St. Clair County Bar Association, a former board member of the Coosa Valley Youth Detention Center, a member of the Pell City D.A.R.E. board and a member of the White Flag Club at the Talladega Superspeedway.
Harmon served as a U.S. Army helicopter pilot for the 101st Airborne Division 2nd Squadron, 17th Cavalry, during Operation Iraqi Freedom, and he continues to serve in the Alabama National Guard.
Harmon and his wife, Shelly, have three children, Will, 22; Sloan “Boo,” 19; and Brody, 9.