KINGSPORT, TN (WJHL-TV) – There was a meeting with a special state-wide panel on Monday in Kingsport for the candidates to replace Judge Jerry Beck.
Six people applied to replace Judge Beck, who is set to retire on June 30, and today they met with the Trial Court Vacancy Commission at Meadowview Conference Resort & Convention Center in Kingsport. The six applicants are Ashley D. Boyer from Bristol, Ricky A.W. Curtis from Piney Flats, Peter M. Filetti from Blountville, Mark D. Harris – Kingsport, John D. Parker, Jr from Kingsport and William K. Rogers from Kingsport.
“Initially, we’re going to try to look for qualifications. Make sure the person has the were-with-all to actually be a judge. The demeanor. It’s not necessarily book smarts, it’s a lot of things that make a person a good judge. Do you have the temperament,”, Commission Chairman Tom Lawless said, “We sort of treat it a little bit like a primary, they’ve got to open up. It’s an extremely difficult thing that they’ve got to go thru. I wouldn’t want to do it.”
The commission held interviews and a question & answer session with each candidate before going into executive session to discuss each of the candidates. Once out of executive session, ballots were passed out to the commission and each member voted for their top three candidates. They were then tallied and counted. The top three will then be interviewed by Governor Haslam before the new judge is named.
The commission asked the candidates a wide variety of questions. A trial court judge deals with the public on a first hand basis daily and they want to make sure the candidates are up to the job.
Lawless added, “It’s closer to the people. This is that first level, and it’s a huge responsibility. Most of these people will be taking a pay cut to do this job. They’re not doing it for the money, believe me.”
After the executive session, the Trial Court Vacancy Commission voted to forward the names of Ashley Boyer, Peter M. Filetti and William K. Rogers on to Gov. Haslam for his consideration.
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