Judge lawsuit gets day in court
By Damon Lawrence roanecounty.com
Tom McFarland’s election lawsuit has been scheduled for trial on Oct. 8 in Roane County Chancery Court.
McFarland, who had served as county attorney until Sept. 1, waged an unsuccessful campaign for circuit court judge in the Aug. 7 election.
He later filed a lawsuit against the winner, Mike Pemberton.
The Roane County Election Commission and Tennessee Coordinator of Elections Mark Goins are also named as defendants in the lawsuit.
McFarland alleges Pemberton didn’t meet the one-year residency requirement to run for judge in the 9th Judicial District, which is made up of Roane, Loudon, Meigs and Morgan counties.
He wants a judgment declaring the election void.
Pemberton, who won the race by 340 votes, denies McFarland’s allegations.
He took office last week and is already handling matters in circuit court.
The chief justice of the Tennessee Supreme Court assigned Senior Judge Jon Kerry Blackwood to hear McFarland’s complaint after Chancellor Frank V. Williams III recused himself.
The Roane County law firm Cooley, McFarland, Raby and Reynolds is representing Pemberton in the matter.
A motions hearing in the case is scheduled for Sept. 30.