County attorney Rambo named to fill chancellor's post

Becky Campbell • Aug 7, 2013 at 7:18 AM

The wait for Gov. Bill Haslam to appoint the

next 1st Judicial District chancellor is over, and John Rambo was selected to fill

that position.

“I have been appointed,” Rambo said. “I found out on my way to a county commission meeting (Monday).

“It is my intention to be sworn in before the end of this week and will start hearing matters as soon as next week.”

Rambo, 43, Jonesborough, received his

law license in 1994 and currently serves as the county attorney for Washington


Prior to

that, Rambo had a private practice in which he worked under contract as the

county attorney. While in private practice, he handled probate matters,

domestic cases and personal injury cases.

Chancellor Richard Johnson, whose eight-year term ends in

2014, announced his retirement in May. His official retirement date was June

30. The chancellor serves the four counties — Washington, Carter, Unicoi and

Johnson — that make up the 1st Judicial District.

Chancery Court handles civil matters, much of which is

domestic, child support and child custody issues, adoption, divorces and

contract/debt cases. The chancellor also hears probate cases in Washington,

Carter and Johnson counties.

Some of those current cases

involve Washington County, and Rambo said he will recuse himself from those as

chancellor and as the former county attorney.


will be some (cases) I have to recuse myself from and I will do that after I

get over there. Any pre-existing county cases I will be recusing myself from,”

Rambo said.

Cases involving the county will be handled by special appointed

counsel or the next county attorney, he said.

County Commissioner and member of

the legal services committee Mark Larkey said Rambo served the county well.

"John has served Washington

County extremely well in the capacity of in-house attorney and his knowledge

and experience regarding county legal matters will not be quickly or

easily replaced. I don’t recall there ever being an instance in our meetings

that, when asked for counsel, John didn’t readily have the correct answer,”

Larkey said.

“His appointment and promotion by

Governor Haslam is an indication of the many quality employees we are

fortunate to have in Washington County. I'm confident the legal services

committee, and ultimately the county commission, will follow a deliberate

and transparent process in filling this vacancy with another quality

individual," Larkey said.

Rambo became county attorney

in 1999, serving part-time while also running a private practice. He became

full-time county attorney in November.

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