Ian Leonard, 32, of Camden, was sworn in yesterday to serve the unexpired term of former Camden County Freeholder Joseph Ripa. Leonard, who will seek a full four-year term in the November election, was the chief of staff for Assembly Speaker Joseph J. Roberts Jr. at the legislator's home office in Brooklawn. Roberts administered the oath.

Leonard, a staff sergeant with the 177th Fighter Wing of the Air National Guard based in Pomona, said he was "eager to play a part in maintaining the quality of services to constituents without increasing taxes."

Freeholder Louis Cappelli Jr. said Leonard was "in tune with the board's commitment to reduction of the tax levy, plus he brings a fresh perspective to county government." Ripa was sworn in as county clerk this month by Gov. Corzine.

   - Edward Colimore