GOING TO THE GOVERNORThese two lists of names are being forwarded to Gov. Bill Haslam, from which he is expected to select a replacement judge for an opening in the Eastern Section of the Court of Criminal Appeals, Eastern Division:Panel A• Boyd Patterson, assistant district attorney in Chattanooga• Robert Montgomery, a criminal court judge in the 2nd Judicial District, from Blountville, Tenn.• Thomas Wright, a circuit court judge in the 3rd Judicial District in Greeneville, Tenn.Panel B• William Jackson Brown, a Cleveland attorney• Charles Edward Atchely Jr., a Knoxville attorney• Samuel Lee, an attorney in Clinton, Tenn.
The Tennessee Judicial Nominating Commission on Thursday selected three names to submit to Gov. Bill Haslam for a recent opening in the Eastern Section of the Court of Criminal Appeals, Eastern Division.
Among those selected was Chattanooga's Boyd Patterson, former director of the city's Gang Task Force and an assistant district attorney.
"I'm honored to represent Chattanooga," Patterson said. "In the 47-year history of the Criminal Court of Appeals, there has been only one person from Chattanooga," he said. "Prosecutors are also in the minority regarding representation."
Solemnly arrayed in the Sheraton Read House Terrace Room, 15 applicants made statements before a panel of 15 nominating commission members, who then interviewed each candidate in turn.
Traditionally, the commission submits only one panel of three names for the governor to review. If he rejects those three applicants, members vote on a second panel of names. However, the commission will cease to exist at midnight Sunday when the legislative provisions creating it expire.
"It's different from what we've done historically because the commission sunsets at the end of the month," said J. Bartlett Quinn, a Chattanooga attorney and commission secretary.
To ensure the commission fulfills its function one last time, the commissioners submitted a second panel of names in the event that Haslam rejects the first three.
Four other hopefuls among the 15 applicants call the Chattanooga area home: Troy McDougal, Juvenile Court magistrate; and attorneys Sandra Donaghy, Marty Lasley and William Jackson Brown.
The vacancy, with a $172,000 salary, was created when the current judge, Joseph M. Tipton, announced that he will not seek re-election in August 2014.
Once appointed, the new candidate's term will begin Sept. 1, 2014.
Contact staff writer Lindsay Burkholder at email@example.com or 423-757-6592.