Tracci sworn in as Albemarle commonwealth’s attorney—twice

Judge Cheryl Higgins swears in Robert Tracci as Albemarle commmonwealth's attorney December 17. Staff photo Judge Cheryl Higgins swears in Robert Tracci as Albemarle commmonwealth’s attorney December 17. Staff photo

Robert Tracci won’t officially take the job as Albemarle’s top prosecutor until January 1, but he was in court December 17  to be sworn in, an oath Judge Cheryl Higgins requested he take a second time because she had instructed him to say “fairly and impartially perform the duties” rather than “faithfully and impartially.”

Republican Tracci unseated incumbent Commonwealth’s Attorney Denise Lunsford in the November election by 510 votes, The Albemarle Circuit Court was filled with Tracci supporters like Sheriff Chip Harding, former sheriff Ed Robb, outgoing Clerk Debbie Shipp, Albemarle police Chief Steve Sellers, state Board of Elections member Clara Belle Wheeler, local NAACP president Rick Turner—and former commonwealth’s attorney Jim Camblos, who held the position eight years ago before Lunsford won it in 2007.

Also sworn in were other county prosecutors: Darby Lowe, Matt Quatrara and Holly Vradenburgh. Lowe, like Tracci, had to repeat the oath to “faithfully” perform the duties of commonwealth’s attorney.

In that same courtroom a few hours after the swearing in, Tracci will observe a status hearing for Jesse Matthew, who faces a capital murder trial in July.

Updated December 18.