HOUSTON – The new year started with a big change for Harris County.
Lina Hidalgo was sworn as the county's judge at 12:01 a.m. Tuesday at the Harris County Office of Homeland Security & Emergency Management as required by law.
However, Hidalgo invited the public to an inauguration ceremony on Tuesday at 11:30 a.m. in an effort to keep with her commitment to keep an open and transparent government.
“It’s important to me that this event is open to the public,” Hidalgo said. “We made history in Harris County on Nov. 6 by electing a talented group of individuals who reflect the people and communities we serve. That would not have been possible without the support of the residents of Harris County.”
After she was sworn in, Hidalgo thanked her family and her team and colleagues saying it was an “incredible honor” and wishing people a happy new year.
“I’m thrilled to get to work,” Hidalgo said, “The first priority has to be safety … be it from a flood or anything else. I am already working on that. The second priority is having an open government. You can’t hold your government accountable if you don’t know what it does. I’m ready to get to work. I’m ready to be there.”
Hidalgo will also be taking over as director of the county’s office of Homeland Security & Emergency Management. She defeated Ed Emmett in November’s midterm election.
The inauguration was held at NRG Park. The event was free and open to the public.
Several other newly elected government officials were also be sworn in.