County public works director John Hiskey was sworn in Monday as interim Salt Lake County commissioner to fill out the remaining 31/2 months of the two-year term former commissioner Dave Watson resigned last week.

With members of his family and political mentors Ted Wilson, Palmer DePaulis and Kem Gardner looking on, Hiskey, 39, pledged to carry out the duties of his new office with enthusiasm, energy and integrity.The new commissioner, appointed by Watson as public works director 20 months ago, drew two standing ovations from a crowd of 60 spectators and well-wishers in the commission chambers.

Hiskey's appointment by commissioners Bart Barker and Mike Stewart, both Republicans, was no surprise. He had been considered the leading candidate for the interim post.

He was picked from a list of six nominees named by the Salt Lake County Democratic Party central committee. Watson had recommended Hiskey as his successor to the other commissioners, who have said Hiskey's experience with the primary issues facing the county during the next several months will ease his transition into the new position.

Hiskey ran unsuccessfully for a commission seat against Stewart in 1980.

Riverton Mayor Dale Gardiner, a Democrat, and Republican former commissioner Tom Shimizu are running in the November general election for the two-year commission seat Hiskey now holds.