Brooklynn Townsend of the 10th Judicial District Attorney General's office has been selected as special judge for the Polk County General Sessions Court.Her appointment was announced Tuesday by Gov. …
Brooklynn Townsend of the 10th Judicial District Attorney General's office has been selected as special judge for the Polk County General Sessions Court.
Her appointment was announced Tuesday by Gov. Bill Haslam's office.
Townsend’s appointment fills a temporary vacancy due to the disability of Judge Billy D. Baliles.
Since 2007, Townsend, 37, has been an assistant district attorney general for the 10th Judicial District and since May 2015 has been the Polk County team leader. In that role she has provided administrative leadership and managed day-to-day functions of the district attorney’s office in Polk County, including appearances in Criminal Court, General Sessions Court and Juvenile Court.
As an assistant district attorney general for the district, she appeared in courts across the district in Bradley, Polk, McMinn and Monroe counties.
District Attorney General Steve Crump, whose 10th district includes Polk County, had mixed emotions about the governor's appointment. He was pleased at Haslam's decision, but hates to lose Townsend from his staff.
"I believe Brooklynn Townsend will make an excellent judge for the people of Polk County," Crump said. "Her dedication to justice, as shown through her years of exemplary service as an Assistant District Attorney General, is clear. Judges are to be fair, honest and knowledgeable in the law. Judge Townsend possesses all of those traits.
"Yet, I hate to lose Judge Townsend’s leadership and experience from the office, but I am grateful for her willingness to serve and believe she will be an excellent judge," the District Attorney General said.
"Our office will do everything we can to assist her in this transition and we will do everything possible to make the transition seamless in both General Sessions and Criminal Courts. We look forward to working with her to advance public safety for the people of Polk County."
Haslam also was pleased with the appointment, feeling that Townsend was the correct choice for the position.
“I appreciate Brooklynn Townsend’s willingness to serve in this capacity,” Haslam said. “This will help serve the citizens in Polk County, and we wish Judge Baliles the very best in his recovery.”
Crump also added his sentiments to Judge Baliles' health.
"I want to wish Judge Baliles a speedy recovery," Crump said. "Our thoughts and prayers are with him and we look forward to his return to good health. He has been an able and dedicated public servant, and I wish him the very best as he recuperates."
Townsend said she was excited about the appointment to the bench. She was sworn into office Tuesday by Judge Mike Sharp.
“I would like to thank Governor Haslam for his confidence in me. I am honored to have been appointed to serve Polk County as its General Sessions Judge and I wish Judge Baliles a speedy recovery,” Townsend said.
Townsend received her law degree from the University of Florida in 2006 after receiving her bachelor’s degree there in 2003. She is a member of the Benton Lions Club. She and her husband, Chris, have a farm in Ocoee.
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