Commissioners approve judicial magistrates

Commissioners approve judicial magistrates

October 28th, 2010 by Dan Whisenhunt in Local - Breaking News

Commissioners approved four judicial magistrates on Thursday, including the nephew of Commissioner Larry Henry. The commissioners also made his nephew, Larry Ables, chief magistrate.

Henry abstained from all votes.

"While I have again been assured my voting is not going to be a violation, I wanted to make this statement in order to ensure there is full disclosure," Henry said.

The four judges oversee bond hearings in Hamilton County.

The commissioners are Ables, Yolanda Mitchell, Pete Johnson and Randall Russell. Ables and Mitchell are returning magistrates. Current Magistrate Robert Davis reapplied but was not selected.

On Oct. 6, commissioners interviewed 11 applicants for the four seats, including three magistrates currently on the job. The judges' shifts cover 24 hours a day, seven days a week, according to Henry.

Henry first disclosed he was an uncle by marriage to Larry Ables, currently the chief judicial magistrate, when Ables got the job in 2007, a fact also reported by local media at the time.County Attorney Rheubin Taylor told Henry he could vote vote for Ables again and said it does not conflict with the county ethics code. Ables, who is currently the chief magistrate, makes more than the other magistrates, earning $64,363 annually. The regular magistrate salary is $59,363.