LAWTON, OK (KSWO) - The woman selected to be Comanche County's newest judge said she is excited for the opportunity to serve her community.
Irma Newburn has worked for the Comanche County District Attorney's Office since 2008 and, on Friday, was appointed by Governor Mary Fallin to become a Comanche County District Judge. Newburn will be replacing former Judge Keith Aycock, who retired in July. She said she is unsure of when exactly she will start but expects to be sworn in and working in the next month.
Newburn said she is extremely happy about the governor's choice and is excited to get started on her new journey. She said this is not just something that came out of the blue, as she has she has been working around the clock towards it for nearly 20 years.
"I just could not wait to share it with my girls, both my girls, they were the first two people, I actually sent them a text because that's how we communicate these days and I just couldn't wait to tell them," Newburn said.
This was the second time in the last three years that Newburn has thrown her name in the hat to be a Comanche County judge, with the last coming in in 2013 when Judge Allen McCall retired.
"During that time is the first time I really thought about it as being a reality," Newburn said. "As a prosecutor, I love what I do and I have really enjoyed working in this office with both past District Attorney Robert Schulte and District Attorney Fred Smith. But you know, the opportunity was there and I decided that was a good time."
Newburn said her being selected this time was the result of more than 18 years of hard work at a variety of jobs in Lawton.
"I worked for the police department, I worked in the municipal court as a deputy court clerk, I worked as a legal secretary for the City Attorney's office and that's where I decided to go to law school after some encouragement from some of the attorneys. So it has worked out well," Newburn said.
That encouragement led Newburn to Oklahoma City University for law school, where she could only take night classes while she worked from 9 a.m. until 4 p.m. at the Lawton Police Department to help support her two daughters.
"Then, during my last year I interned here at the district attorney's office and I knew then that I wanted to be an assistant D.A," Newburn said.
Even though her judgeship has yet to officially begin, Newburn said she has already begun setting goals for herself in her new position.
"I want to be fair, I want to make decisions that are based on Oklahoma law, I want to be the kind of person that I have been throughout my career, which I think is what has gotten me here," Newburn said.