A Hamilton County General Sessions Court judge announced Friday he's taking medical leave, saying he returned to the bench "prematurely" while battling cancer for the past several months.
"In an effort to fulfill my public responsibility, I returned to the bench prematurely," Judge David E. Bales said in a statement. "I now know I need more time to recover. Therefore I have decided to take additional time off to rest and recuperate so I can plan to return to the bench with full vigor and strength to serve the citizens of Hamilton County."
Bales, who was appointed in 2005, missed at least 45 days on the bench since being diagnosed with cancer around October 2016.