Hamilton County Commission interviews magistrate candidates

Hamilton County Commission interviews magistrate candidates

March 27th, 2013 by Louie Brogdon in Local Regional News

Hamilton County Commission Chairman Larry Henry, center, works with other commissioners in this file photo.

Photo by Dan Henry/Times Free Press.

Hamilton County commissioners heard from eight lawyers Tuesday wishing to fill two magistrate positions that will be vacated next month.

The seats now held by Chief Magistrate Randall Russell and Magistrate Sharetta Smith will open April 30, when the one-year contracts for the posts expire. Both Russell and Smith applied to keep their jobs.

Initially, 17 people applied for the posts, but on Tuesday five withdrew their applications and four did not show to the scheduled interview.

County Commission Chairman Larry Henry said the eight who showed up, including Russell and Smith, were good candidates and no further interviews will be held.

"They were smart and well-qualified people," Henry said.

If all goes according to plan, commissioners will decide on two candidates Thursday during a commission meeting recessed from last week.

Magistrates issue bonds, sign warrants and perform other duties for the county's courts. They are paid $61,143 per year, and the chief magistrate is paid an additional $5,000.

Henry said he wanted to get magistrate appointments completed ahead of the interview and appointment process to replace Juvenile Court Judge Suzanne Bailey, who also will leave her post at the end of April.

Interviews for the juvenile court judgeship will begin next week, and the appointment is scheduled to be made April 11, Henry said.

APPLICANTS FOR MAGISTRATE POSTS

• Anna Adams, of Ooltewah, Stetson University College of Law

• Lucy Cerpa-Martinez, of Cleveland, Rutgers University School of Law

• Micah Gates, of Memphis, Duke Law

• Robyn Owens, of Nashville, Samford University

• Randall Russell, of Hixson, University of Tennessee School of Law

• Sharetta Smith, of Hixson, Ohio Northern University Pettit College of Law

• Jennifer Wade, of Antioch, Thomas Cooley Law School

• Justin Woodward, of Chattanooga, University of Tulsa

Applicants who withdrew

• Christy Jindra, of Peachtree City, Ga. St. Louis University School of Law

• Tammy Harris-Crayne, of Knoxville, Lincoln Memorial University Duncan School of Law

• Amanda Jelks, of Chattanooga, University of Memphis School of Law

• Jeremy Johnston, of Chattanooga,University of Tennessee College of Law

• Dustin Manning, of Chattanooga, Cumberland School of Law, Samford University

Applicants who did not show up

• Ali Abdelati, of Knoxville, Tanta Law School, Egypt

• Angel Avans, of Ooltewah, University of Tulsa

• Michelle Holland, of Knoxville, University of Tennessee College of Law

• Kelly Johnson, of Chattanooga, The Appalachian School of Law

Contact staff writer Louie Brogdon at lbrogdon@timesfreepress.com or 423-757-6481.