Coffee County could soon have an interim judge to fill in for the late Tim Brock, who passed away Nov. 11 while at a conference in Nevada.
According to Coffee County Mayor Gary Cordell and District Attorney General Craig Northcott, the Tennessee Supreme Court has appointed Judge John P. Damron, a retired sessions judge from the 22nd District of Tennessee, to temporarily fill the void left by Brock’s passing until a full-time replacement can be elected.
Cordell said he is unsure at this time if the county commission will need to approve that measure.
“It is my understanding that [Damron] will fill in a day a week here to help out,” said Cordell. “I’m still unsure if this needs a full county commission approval. I’ve asked District Attorney Northcott to check into that, but I don’t think that it does [need approval] because the judicial system can make a lot of their own decisions without talking to the county. But we want to make sure everything is done correctly and by the book.”
As of Monday, five attorneys have picked up papers to file to run in the March primary for Brock’s empty seat. All five are registered Republicans, meaning that the winner of that primary would automatically win the general election in August, assuming no Democratic candidates file to run before the deadline for the March primary.
“If no Democrats pick up papers then we will know in March who that new person will be,” added Cordell.
Whoever does win that judge seat would only fill that position until the term is up, which is August of 2022.
The appointed interim judge – John Damron – did not seek re-election when his term ended in 2014. He previously served District 22, which encompasses Maury, Giles, Lawrence and Wayne counties. He graduated with his law degree in 1992. He also spent two years as an assistant public defender and time with a private law firm before becoming a judge.