CROWN POINT — Former Lake County Circuit Court Judge Lorenzo Arredondo was sworn in Wednesday as the acting county clerk.

He replaces Michael A. Brown who resigned as clerk after being named the new Gary city councilman at-large.

A caucus of Democratic precinct committeemen chose Brown from among seven candidates Monday to serve on the Gary City Council to fill out the remaining term of former Councilwoman Ragen Hatcher.

Hatcher left the City Council after she was elected state representative in last month's general election.

Several council members, including Councilwoman Carolyn Rogers, D-4, warmly welcomed Brown to Gary City Council Tuesday night.

Rogers said she is "very pleased" to work with someone of Brown's "caliber and experience" in public office as a colleague on the council.

At the meeting, Brown thanked the people of Lake County who allowed him to serve in public office for the last 14 years as recorder and clerk. 

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"It's been a blessing to represent Lake County," Brown said. "I'm excited by what we can get done, but I'm also humbled by what I've been able to do in the past. I've watched council meetings. I've attended them. But now I'm sitting here. I want to learn what I can but I also want to be effective in changing what I can. I think the most important thing we can do is remember we have purpose and don't waste it." 

Brown, a longtime Gary resident, will serve the remainder of Hatcher's term through the end of 2019. Brown served two terms as county clerk between 2010 and this week. He was county recorder from 2004 to 2010.

Brown's resignation as county clerk this week prompted the Lake County Board of Commissioners to appoint Arredondo as acting county clerk.

Voters elected Arredondo as county clerk last month, but Arredondo couldn't take office as the next permanent clerk until Jan. 1.

Lake County Commissioner Kyle Allen said state law would have permitted Chief Deputy County Clerk Sylvia Brown to serve as acting clerk to the end of this month, but she declined.

Arredondo previously served as a Lake Superior Court, County Division judge for four years in the 1970s and as Lake Circuit Court judge from 1980 to 2010, when he retired from the bench.

Arredondo said he was honored to take over the clerk's office at a critical time when technology is changing how the office handles court records. 

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Northlake County Reporter

Lauren covers North Lake County government, breaking news, crime and environmental issues for The Times. She previously worked at The Herald-News in Joliet. She holds a master’s degree in Public Affairs Reporting.