ELIZABETHTON — An overflow crowd consisting of most of the judges and attorneys in the region and many local officials attended the inauguration of Stacy Street as judge Thursday afternoon.
Street was selected by Gov. Bill Haslam to succeed the retiring Criminal Court Judge Lynn Brown. Haslam’s selection was announced earlier this week. Judge Robert Cupp administered the oath of office to Street.
Following his swearing in, Street addressed the audience to say “I don’t have enough time to thank everyone.” He then began to thank many members of his family and people he worked with over the years. He began with his his wife, Susan, his children, his mother and father and sister.
He then thanked his assistant, Jackie Campbell, “for taking care of me for the last 11 years,” and Johnson County Circuit Court Clerk Carolyn Hawkins for all her help in Mountain City.
He thanked Bill Hampton, his former partner. “You gave me my start,” Street said, adding that he wished Hampton’s father and uncle, Peter and Stuart, could be there.
He thanked Jim Bowman, the defense attorney Street teamed with on some of the biggest trials in the past several years. “I am going to miss the times we worked together.” He said Bowman had been his mentor and “It is not often when you have a mentor who becomes your best friend.”
He then went on to reflect on his new career. He said he is now sitting on a bench that has been occupied by only three men for the past 40 years: Arden Hill, Robert Cupp and Lynn Brown.
He said those three men had very different personalities and different styles as a judge, but one thing all three had in common was the drive “to be fair and to do the right thing. My dream is that when by time in up that you can say the same thing about me.”
Bowman said watching his friend sworn in “was one of the proudest days of my life. ... We have tried many cases together, too many to try to count. We have worked together on misdemeanors and many murder cases.
Bowman said it was true that he and Street had become close friends. He said they have even taken vacations together and rode the range on horseback at Bob Marshall Wilderness Area and at Yellowstone.
His father, Jimmy Street, said he was “a proud dad. ... He made it easy to be a father.”
His predecessor, Lynn Brown, said “he will be a fine trial judge. My experience has been that lawyers who have tried a lots of cases make good judges and he has certainly handled a lot of cases. I hope he does a better job than I did because that means we have made progress.”