Salamey thanks supporters during investiture ceremony

Photo by Sherri Kolade
During 19th District Chief Judge-elect Sam Salamey’s investiture ceremony, Salamey (second from left) shakes hands with Michael Berry (third from left) during the presentation of the gavel with Berry’s daughter, Laura Berry Harris.

Times-Herald Newspapers

DEARBORN — Newly sworn-in 19th District Court Chief Judge-elect Sam Salamey plans to administer justice without fear and favor when he takes office in January.

That was one of the many points he made during his investiture Dec. 12 at the Michael A. Guido Theater.

“I am hoping that I can serve as a catalyst to bring new dynamics to the court,” Salamey said. “I will administer justice without fear and favor.”

A nearly packed auditorium of leaders on the city and county levels attended the investiture.

David Turfe, 20th District Court judge and master of ceremonies, said Salamey, like many other candidates, sacrifices time from his personal and professional lives.

“Many words can describe Judge Salamey’s rise to the stage to this evening,” Turfe said, “but the words that come to mind are ‘patience,’ ‘perseverance,’ ‘faith,’ ‘heart’ and ‘desire.’”

During the general election in November, Salamey beat out incumbent Richard Wygonik for the judge seat with 18,150 votes to Wygonik’s 14,020.

The Michigan Supreme Court appointed Salamey as chief judge.

Salamey, who has lived in Dearborn since 1974, studied at Henry Ford Community College and Wayne State University and received his doctorate in jurisprudence at Thomas M. Cooley Law School, according to

Salamey was a senior member of the law firm Salamey & Farhat, PLLC.

He was the 19th District Court judicial magistrate from 1993 to 2006 and the Dearborn Police Department Community Relations Officer from 1979 to 1981.

Salamey belongs to the State Bar of Michigan, the United States District Court Eastern District of Michigan-Southern Division and the Dearborn Bar Association.

Salamey also is the chairman of the city of Dearborn Board of Ethics and former president of the Lebanese American Heritage Club, according to

Mayor John O’Reilly Jr. said the Michigan Supreme Court’s decision to make Salamey chief judge speaks for itself.

“The Michigan Supreme Court had the wisdom to choose Sam Salamey as the chief judge at the 19th District Court,” O’Reilly said. “In my mind, that says all that needs to be said about his character and ability.”

Third Circuit Court Judge David Allen said he is proud that he is judicial colleagues with Salamey.

“I’ve been on the bench for 10 years now and I’m still sweeping the lobby and cleaning the bathrooms,” Allen said to laughing crowd. “This guy is not even in the courtroom yet and he is already Chief Judge.”

During the ceremony Salamey thanked everyone involved.

“I’m looking forward to giving you my undivided loyalty and dedication,” Salamey said. “I have no doubt about the great prospects of our future and I know that we will succeed because we are one community, one people, one city.”

(Sherri Kolade can be reached at