Bradley County Criminal Court Judge Carroll Ross was honored for his work and wished well on his coming retirement during a meeting of the Southeast Tennessee Community Corrections Program advisory board Thursday.
“It’s been a great trip for me. I have really enjoyed the last 17 years,” Ross said.
Ross has served as a judge for the past 17 years. His last day to wear the judicial black robe will be Aug. 31.
Chancellor Jerri Bryant said Ross presented “an exemplary example across the state.”
“We wish him the best in the future,” Bryant said.
Gary Conner of Community Corrections said he has learned many things from each judge he has worked with.
“I know our days are numbered working together but our friendship will endure for a lot longer,” Conner said. “He (Ross) has tried to change lives in the community.”
Ross said he does not have a set plan for after he retires. He has ideas of what he would like to do, but said he will plan each day as it comes.
He reminded those present that retirement really is about not having a set schedule of things that have to be done.
Ross said everyone he works with in the judicial system works hard to keep the court system running smoothly.
“I am proud to be a part of this entire group and I can’t thank everyone enough for their cooperation,” Ross said.
Criminal Court Judge Amy Reedy recounted when she first became a judge that Carroll’s goal was to have a more efficient system for dealing with the docket of cases. Part of achieveing this goal was ensuring that cases were assigned to specific judges.
“His vision was to get the docket under control, and his vision was to take things that were a little out of balance and get them back in balance so that victims and defendants could get to court quickly,” Reedy said.
She said Ross provided good leadership.
Another aspect of having the dockets be more efficient was moving to a set format for all of the clerks to use.
“I hope you get an excellent person elected to fill my job,” Ross said.
A proclamation from the Tennessee House of Representatives was presented to Ross honoring him for serving as judge.
Before becoming a judge, Ross served as an assistant district attorney in the 10th Judicial District and McMinn County attorney.
Prior to pursuing law, Ross was an English teacher for four years.
Ross also enjoys participating in 18th century historic re-enactments.
Retiring McMinn General Sessions Court Judge James Watson was also honored during the event. A state proclamation was made declaring “Judge James Watson day.” Watson has served in the court system since 1986. He will also be retiring Aug. 31.
“I haven’t really done anything over the past 27 years except do my job,” Watson said.
Watson said his father instilled in him the importance of doing his best.