Hamilton County magistrates to be chosen today; Larry Ables withdraws

Hamilton County magistrates to be chosen today; Larry Ables withdraws

October 16th, 2013 by Louie Brogdon in Local Regional News

Larry Ables, Hamilton County's chief magistrate.

Photo by Dan Henry /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 lbrogdon@timesfreepress.com or at 423-757-6481.