When Joseph I. Cassilly was sworn in 32 years ago to his first term as Harford County State's Attorney, he was 32 years old, the youngest person to ever hold the position. Taking the oath Monday to begin his ninth consecutive term, he is the longest serving state's attorney in Maryland.
"In nine elections, I was always gratified by the people who donated their time and money to help elect me," Cassilly said during his swearing-in in the ceremonial courtroom Monday afternoon.
He was joined by his family, friends and colleagues, colleagues who Circuit Court Judge Stephen Waldron said were "people who want to keep their jobs."
It was a mostly light-hearted ceremony, though Cassilly got emotional when talking about his granddaughter, 11-year-old Ana Lane, who sang the national anthem.
"If I wasn't ready to start crying before, I am now," he said.
Cassilly said his office has been so successful because of the extraordinary dedication of its members.
"I want to thank each of you here, and some of you who aren't here, your hard work and dedication are what makes us successful and able to do our jobs," he said. "You understand the importance of our mission."
That mission, he said, is to do God's work and to support and defend the Constitution of the United States.
The next four years will be a challenge, he said, to do what they've been doing all over again and make it seem like it's their first day.
"We treat each victim and witness as if their case was as important to us as it is to them," he said.
Waldron said he is very proud of Cassilly and couldn't say enough about him.
"It's hard to believe it's been more than three decades you've been state's attorney. And it's hard to believe for 27of those 32 years I've had to sit here and listen to Joe, listen to him so eloquently for 27 years..." Waldron dragged out sarcastically.
As Cassilly was thanking his supporters over the years, he recalled an ongoing "argument" he has with former Sheriff Jesse Bane, who served for eight years, as to who was really Harford County's chief law enforcement officer. Each thought he was.
"I used to tell him I have case law that says I am," Cassilly said.
But what he was getting at was the great relationship his office has with law enforcement in Harford County, which Waldron also pointed out later.
"Our front line in Harford County is our police, then the state's attorney's office," Waldron said. "But all the police work is meaningless unless there is a competent state's attorney to take the evidence and information to court."
A new member also joined the state's attorney's office team during Monday's ceremony.
Molly Callanan was sworn in as a new assistant state's attorney in Cassilly's office. A graduate of New York University with a master's degree in communications and a 2013 graduate of Tulane University, she interned with the U.S. Attorney's Office in Louisiana and worked for the Baltimore County State's Attorney's Office.