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County to appoint interim judge before Brown's retirement

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The county is moving forward with plans to appoint an interim General Sessions II Juvenile Court judge following an announcement last week from Judge Barry Brown that he intends to retire at the end of this year.

Brown was re-elected to an eight-year term in 2014 and was scheduled to serve until August, 2022. On Aug. 25, county officials received Brown's resignation letter effective Dec. 29. Judge Brown cited health concerns and taking time off to relax after serving 31 years on the bench as his reasons.

According to Commissioner Paul R. Goode, who also chairs the Legislative Committee, he will appoint four county commissioners to serve on a judicial ad hoc committee, along with three attorneys appointed by the Sumner County Bar Association. County Attorney Leah May Dennen, County Commission Chairman Scott Langford, and Bar Association President-Elect Lindsey Ralston will also serve as non-voting ex-officio members.

According to Dennen, those seeking the interim appointment must submit a letter of interest including their resume to her office at 355 North Belvedere Drive, Room 303, Gallatin, TN 37066. Application packets are due by 1 p.m. Sept. 15.

Goode said he will call two judicial ad hoc meetings. The first, following the Sept. 15 deadline and a second meeting by the first week in October which will include interviews of the applicants.

"It is anticipated a recommendation by vote will come from this meeting, but if necessary a third meeting will take place within 10 days," he said. "The recommendation will be presented to the full commission at the Oct. 16 meeting."

Dennen said by Tennessee law, nominations can also come from the commission floor during that meeting.

The new judge will take office upon Brown's retirement and the seat will be up for grabs next spring.

"That will be considered an interim position and that future seat will be on the May, 2018 Primary ballot and decided on by the voters in the County General Election in August," Goode said.

As of Tuesday afternoon, no official applications had been received, but three local attorneys - Debrah Frizzell of Hendersonville, Allen Ehmling of Gallatin, and David Howard of Gallatin, who currently serves as Juvenile Court Magistrate in Sumner County, had expressed interest to the commission.

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