The process to replace Chancellor G. Richard Johnson, who announced his retirement late last week, is basically the same as what occurred to select a new Criminal Court judge just last month, according to a spokesperson for the Administrative Office of the Courts.
The Tennessee Judicial Nominating Commission is accepting applications for the judicial vacancy in the 1st Judicial District Chancery Court, which includes Carter, Johnson, Unicoi and Washington counties.
Johnson, judge of the Chancery and Probate courts for the First Judicial District of Tennessee, will retire June 30.
He has served Carter, Unicoi, Johnson and Washington counties since 1988. He was appointed by then-Gov. Ned McWherter to fill the remaining two years of former Chancellor Leon Jordan’s term.
Johnson was re-elected in 1990, 1998 and 2006. As chancellor, Johnson served as presiding judge of the district.
Any interested applicant must be a licensed attorney who is at least 30 years old, a resident of Tennessee for five years and a resident of the 1st Judicial District for at least one year. Applicants must complete the application, which is available at www.tncourts.gov, and submit it to the Administrative Office of the Courts by May 29, at noon CST.
The Judicial Nominating Commission will interview all qualified applicants June 14 at the DoubleTree Hotel, 211 Mockingbird Lane. The meeting will include a public hearing starting at 9 a.m. where people may express their opinions about the applicants. The interview, public hearing and deliberation process will be open to the public.
Once the interviews are complete, the commission will select three applicants and send those names to Gov. Bill Haslam. The governor and his legal staff will interview those three and make the selection.
Johnson graduated from ETSU with a degree in economics. In 1969, he graduated from the Tennessee Judicial Academy and studied law at the National Judicial Academy. He returned to Washington County and began practicing law with a local firm, where he stayed for more than 19 years before being appointed chancellor.