Three qualify to run for judge so far

Rutherford County Adult Detention Center(Photo: DNJ file)Buy PhotoMURFREESBORO Three candidates seeking to be the next General Sessions Court judge had qualified by Tuesday morningfor the Aug. 4 election, records show.The three areLisa Ann Eischeid, Ben http://Lisa-Ann.easyxblogs.com - http://Lisa-Ann.easyxblogs.com - Bennett and Lisa A. Bell, according to the Rutherford County Election Commission.Others who have picked up qualifying petitions from the Election Commission are Jeff Peach, Kiek D. Catron, Andrae P. Crismon Sr. and Tom Frost.To qualify, candidates must collect at least 25 signatures of registered voters who live in the county and return the petitions by noon May 6 to the Election Commission on the south side of the Square in Murfreesboro, said Alan Farley, the administrator of elections.The Rutherford County Commission voted unanimously Thursday night to establish a fourth General Sessions Court that will be located at the overcrowded jail with a goal of pursuing pre-trial release of inmates who are non-threatening and considered a low risk of failing to appear before a judge.The Tennessee General Assembly also approved the private act request to change the local government charterby the County Commission to allow the addition of a fourth General Sessions Court judge.The three existing General Sessions Court judges Ben Hall McFarlin, Toby Gilley and Barry Tidwell expect the county to save nearly $1.4 million on jail expenses by averaging 100 pre-trial cases per day. The average cost to house an inmate is $63 per day, and that's $38 more than the estimated $25 to administer pre-trialrelease services, the judges suggested in a report.The annual cost to add the fourth General Sessions Court judge and four related legal positions is nearly $500,000for pay and benefits, but the first-year cost should be less because it will cover only 10 months of the next fiscal year starting Sept. 1, County Mayor Ernest Burgess said.The other four positions area law clerk, a judicial commissioner to help assess inmates for pre-trial release,an assistant district attorney andan assistant public defender.Contact Scott Broden at 615-278-5158. Follow him on Twitter @ScottBroden.Read or Share this story: http://on.dnj.com/1U5Tmpf