Three local attorneys who are finalists to replace now-retired Criminal Court Judge Lynn Brown are scheduled for interviews with Gov. Bill Haslam next week.
Steve Finney, Gene Scott and Stacy Street were selected in February by the Judicial Nominating Committee out of eight attorneys who applied. All eight candidates were interviewed in a public hearing conducted by the committee.
According to Scott, the three finalists, who are all friends, will drive to Nashville together for their interviews Wednesday.
Brown’s retirement became official March 30, and a new judge was scheduled to begin hearing cases beginning April 2. For now, Senior Judge Jon Kerry Blackwood is traveling to the 1st Judicial District to hear cases in the absence of a permanent judge.
Here’s a little about each of the three candidates:
n Finney, 51, of Johnson City; licensed in Tennessee since 1990; started in private practice, then served 1991 until 2005 as an Assistant District Attorney General in Sessions and Criminal courts; currently in private practice as a partner at Slagle and Finney law firm. Finney said he has always “desired to serve my community in a way that will serve the public good. I believe that I have the qualifications, legal experience, work ethic, temperament and drive to be a successful, fair and even-handed judge.”
n Scott, 37, of Watauga; licensed to practice in Tennessee since 2001; self-employed as a sole practitioner since being licensed, and handles mostly criminal cases. Scott said he is seeking the position “to improve respect for and observance of the law in the community. I am dedicated to improving the judicial system in which I work.”
Scott lives in Watauga with his wife and son.
n Street, 45, of Elizabethton; licensed in Tennessee since 1992; began as an associate attorney with Hampton & Hampton law firm and later became partner; in 2010 opened his current office in Elizabethton as a sole practitioner.
In his application, Street said his “personal and professional experiences in this court and district uniquely qualify me for the transition from advocate to judge.”
Street lives in Elizabethton with his wife and two children.
“There’s no hard and fast time limit, but obviously we want to find the best fit for the position in a timely manner,” Haslam spokesman David Smith said.