Tuesday, March 3, 2015

Chief Magistrate Brown resigning

Mark Brown
Knox County General Sessions Court Chief Magistrate Mark Brown has submitted his letter of resignation, telling officials that his last day on the job will be April 10 before he moves to Nashville to be closer to his family.

"As you are aware, I remarried over a year ago," he wrote in his letter submitted Jan. 28 and made public Tuesday. "Due to employment constraints, my wife and I have lived in different parts of the state. This move is a positive development toward uniting our two households in one location."

Brown, who began serving as a magistrate in February 2009, made $85,000 annually in his position as chief magistrate, according to records.

"Thank you for the support I have received during my six years of employment," his letter states. The many professional relationships and personal friendships developed during this time have enriched my life."

Brown, who also ran his own private law practice, is a former vice mayor for the city of Knoxville and served on the Knoxville City Council for seven years. He earned his law degree from the University of Tennessee College of Law.

The county has five magistrates, often called judicial commissioners, who work 36 hours per week on a rotating schedule. The magistrates are charged with reviewing applications for warrants and summonses and conduct the initial court appearances of prisoners via closed-circuit television.

The general sessions court judges usually accept resumes and then send a handful of their top choices to the Knox County Commission to make a final decision. Although officials have yet to iron out the details, the judges in the coming days are expected to accept resumes for Brown's position.

The County Commission is tentatively looking at March 16 to interview candidates, and April 20 to hold a special session to fill the magistrate vacancy.

The commission last filled an open magistrate position in August, when then-chief Magistrate Richard Major stepped down to work as Knox county Criminal Court Clerk Mike Hammond's second-in-command.

The board appointed local attorney Ray Jenkins to succeed Major.

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