Johnell Matthews

Johnell Matthews

Johnell Matthews was sworn in as a Baton Rouge City Court judge one day after a judge ordered the Secretary of State to certify her victory in last month's runoff election.  

Matthews won the Aug. 15 election, but Secretary of State Kyle Ardoin had been reluctant to declare her the winner while Whitney Higginbotham Greene claims she has a right to the Division C seat.

District Judge Trudy White said in a ruling Tuesday that Ardoin had to certify the results and, the next day, Matthews received her commission to the bench.

"Today, Ms Matthews became a judge," said Matthews' lawyer, Mary Olive Pierson. 

The City Court Division C term expires at the end of 2024. It became vacant when Tarvald Smith was elected to seat on the 19th District bench.