published Wednesday, October 16th, 2013

Hamilton County magistrates to be chosen today; Larry Ables withdraws

Larry Ables, Hamilton County's chief magistrate.
Larry Ables, Hamilton County's chief magistrate.
Photo by Dan Henry /Chattanooga Times Free Press.

Hamilton County commissioners will vote today to appoint two judicial commissioners, but current Magistrate Larry Ables says he won’t be in the running.

Despite interviewing to keep his post last week, Ables said in a letter to Commission Chairman Fred Skillern Tuesday that he wished to withdraw to seek a higher position.

“After prayer and counsel with my family and friends I have decided that I am going to run for Hamilton County General Sessions Court judge,” Ables wrote. “This decision would not be possible with the night and weekend schedule that is required for the position of judicial commissioner.”

That brings the magistrate pool to 13 applicants, including current Judicial Commissioner Jeffery Davis, former Magistrate Robert Davis and past judicial candidate Ron Powers.

The job is a one-year contract for full-time shift work and pays $61,143. Magistrates sign warrants for police searches and felony arrests. They also set bonds for criminal defendants and aid the county’s other courts. The job requires working nights and weekends, since the jail is always running.

Commissioners are scheduled to make the appointments during today’s regular 9:30 a.m. commission meeting. Those selected will serve until Oct. 31, 2014.

Contact staff writer Louie Brogdon at or at 423-757-6481.

about Louie Brogdon...

Louie Brogdon began reporting with the Chattanooga Times Free Press in February 2013. Before he came to the Scenic City, Louie lived on St. Simons Island, Ga. and covered crime, courts, environment and government at the Brunswick News, a 17,000-circulation daily on the Georgia coast. While there, he was awarded for investigative reporting on police discipline and other law enforcement issues by the Georgia Press Association. For the Times Free Press, Louie covers Hamilton County ...

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