The wait for Gov. Bill Haslam to appoint the
next 1st Judicial District chancellor is over, and John Rambo was selected to fill
“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
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,”
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,”
“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.