Governor Phil Bredesen has appointed John M. Roberts of Livingston, Tenn., to serve as temporary criminal court judge for the 13th Judicial District, which includes Clay, Cumberland, DeKalb, Overton, Pickett, Putnam and White Counties. Roberts, who currently serves as executive director of the Livingston-Overton County Chamber of Commerce, is a former U.S. Attorney for Middle Tennessee.
?The experience John Roberts brings to this position will allow matters before the criminal court to proceed while the matter of the contested election is resolved,? said Bredesen. ?I believe this is certainly in the best interest of the citizens of the 13th Judicial District. With his outstanding qualifications in the area of criminal law, John will enjoy the confidence of the lawyers in the district, and I very much appreciate his willingness to serve the state in this capacity on a temporary basis.?
Roberts has served as District Attorney for the 13th Judicial District. He is a former General Sessions judge and graduate of the University of Tennessee School of Law in Knoxville.
?It is certainly an honor to have the confidence of Governor Bredesen in making this appointment, and I am happy to be able to help out by serving in this capacity on a short-term basis,? said Roberts.
Tennessee law (TCA 17-2-119) states the governor shall appoint a temporary judge in the event of a contested election. Judge Lillie Ann Sells is contesting the results of the Aug. 3, 2006 election in which she lost to challenger David Patterson by 10 votes. Trial in the case has been set for Sept. 26, 2006, in Putnam County.