Judge Russell Bean to retire; Patterson, Statom seeking judgeships

Judge Russell Bean mingles at the Chattanooga Theatre Center in this file photo.

Russell Bean - Div. II

Judge Russell Bean announced last week he will retire at the end of his term in 2022 after presiding over Division II of the Chattanooga City Court since 2000.

"I want to thank former Mayor Jon Kinsey for having confidence in me and appointing me as judge in 2000. I am also grateful to the citizens of Chattanooga for re-electing me through the years and allowing me to serve as your judge," he wrote in an emailed statement. "It has been an honor."

"I have tried to be fair and respectful to all who have come before me. I have had the best staff ever. We have made a difference."

Bean, whose term will end next summer, said he is leaving to pursue the next chapter in his life.

"I want to thank Judge [City Court Judge Sherry]Paty and her staff; the City Court Clerk's office; Judge Walter Williams and all who have helped me along the way. Thanks to the mayors and council persons who have been so supportive," he wrote.

"My heart has been with City Court and I will miss it, but it is time for another chapter in my life," he concluded. "It was the best of times. God bless all."

Boyd Patterson - Div. III

Prosecutor-turned-Public Defender Boyd Patterson is running for Division III Criminal Court judge in 2022, seeking the seat now held by Judge Don W. Poole who is retiring.

Patterson works in the Hamilton County Public Defender's Office providing legal counsel for those who cannot afford representation. He defends court-appointed criminal cases ranging from misdemeanors to murder, advocating for Hamilton County's poorest citizens, according to a news release from his campaign.

"Judge Poole set a standard of professionalism and dedication that I will work with diligence to continue. The incredible support I've received to date, from so many sectors of our community, keeps me both humble and encouraged. I look forward to our campaign with the same enthusiasm I will bring to the role itself," Patterson said in the release.

Early in his career, Patterson worked as a prosecutor for 15 years. In the release, Patterson touted 50 jury trials in which he "secured convictions against murderers, child abusers, rapists, drug dealers and more." As gang task force coordinator, Patterson said he developed a proven track record of working with community partners to reduce gang violence, the release states.

photo Staff Photo / Assistant District Attorney Boyd Patterson mingles in this file photo.

Patterson said his undergraduate and master's degrees in psychology, plus two years counseling delinquent youth, bring an additional advantage to presiding over Hamilton County's Mental Health Court, which Patterson helped establish, later joining as the public defender representative.

If elected, Patterson said, he intends to add a separate component of the Mental Health Court to exclusively serve military veterans.

Patterson, supported by his wife Nancy and their two children, will bring years of qualified experience to the Division III Criminal Court, he said. Once elected Criminal Court judge, Boyd Patterson pledged to fairly follow the laws he has litigated as both a prosecutor and public defender.

Lila Statom - Div. IV

Hamilton County General Sessions Court Judge Lila Statom will seek reelection in 2022 election. Statom announced her decision last week, promising a continued pursuit of justice if re-elected.

"My commitment to the citizens of Hamilton County is to foster a system of justice for all who seek a remedy in our General Sessions Courts," Statom said in a release. "It is truly an honor to serve the citizens of Hamilton County."

Statom was appointed in 2012 to complete the term of Judge Ronald Durby and was elected to serve a full term in 2014.

She previously worked as a Hamilton County assistant district attorney for 14 years following a decade as an assistant district attorney in the Nashville-Davidson County District Attorney's Office.

"Our courts play a critical role in the safety of our citizens as well as the protection of their property and wellbeing of our community." Statom continued, "equal protection of the law and our Constitution must be applied to each case and party involved."

photo Staff photo by C.B. Schmelter / Judge Lila Statom is seen during a preliminary hearing in this file photo.

In addition to a criminal, civil and mental health hospital docket in General Sessions Court, Statom presides over the Hamilton County General Sessions Mental Health Court. Mental Health Court helps helps people who receive its services transform their lives, enhances public safety and provides good stewardship of taxpayers' dollars, according to the announcement. People are screened and placed in a structured program under the supervision of the court and its team if determined appropriate for the program.

"As the incidences of mental illness, substance abuse and addiction rise, the value of this specialized court program increases," Statom said. "Incarcerating the mentally ill, who cycle in and out of our criminal justice system on lowerlevel crimes, is not justice. The goal is to get these individuals appropriate care to become contributing members of our community, which benefits all citizens of Hamilton County."

Statom is a graduate of Red Bank High School, the University of Tennessee at Chattanooga, Cecil C. Humphreys School of Law at Memphis State University (now the University of Memphis) and subsequently earned an LL.M. in litigation from Emory University School of Law.

- Compiled by Sarah Grace Taylor

Judicial election details:

Hamilton County will elect the following positions next year. Partisan offices will have a primary election on May 3, 2022, and the county general election will take place on Aug. 4, 2022. PARTISAN JUDICIAL RACES: Circuit Court Judge Division One Circuit Court Judge Division Two Circuit Court Judge Division Three Circuit Court Judge Division Four Chancery Court Judge Division One Chancery Court Judge Division Two Criminal Court Judge Division One Criminal Court Judge Division Two Criminal Court Judge Division Three Juvenile Court Judge NONPARTISAN JUDICIAL RACES Sessions Court Judge Division One Sessions Court Judge Division Two Sessions Court Judge Division Three Sessions Court Judge Division Four Sessions Court Judge Division Five IMPORTANT DATES FOR MAY PRIMARY: Dec. 20, 2021 - First day a nominating petition can be issued Feb. 17, 2022 at noon - Candidate qualifying deadline Feb. 24, 2022 at noon - Candidate withdrawal deadline IMPORTANT DATES FOR AUGUST GENERAL: Feb. 7, 2022 - First day a nominating petition can be issued April 7, 2022 at noon - Candidate qualifying deadline April 14, 2022 at noon - Candidate withdrawal deadline