Special committee discusses future of Hamilton County magistrate judge

Image: WTVC

UPDATE (September):

A Hamilton County magistrate judge is now without a job. The chief magistrate told commissioners that Stuart Brown made mistakes consistently, including losing search warrants.

Brown was placed on a two-month probation for poor performance. However, the Magistrate's office reversed its decision Wednesday, and voted unanimously to fire Brown.


Missing search warrants and incorrect paperwork are some mistakes one Hamilton county are happening too often in the magistrate's office. The Hamilton County chief magistrate Lorrie Miller said there are 11 missing search warrants.

She blames someone on her own staff and wants Stuart Brown to be fired.

"I've given him verbal direction," Miller told a special committee during a meeting on Wednesday morning.

"I've given him written direction and he doesn't respond."

Miller said in the month Brown has been on the job, he has made mistakes consistently. Brown defended himself.

"I was thrown into the fire," he said.

"I certainly tried. I certainly made mistakes."

Hamilton County General Sessions court Judge Lila Statom said Brown mistakenly denied a search warrant on a suspect, which came close to causing his release from jail.

"But what if it's the murder of your family and they give the original affidavit to the individual in this this?," she asked.

Brown said most of these problems happened during his first week on the job and blames a lack of training.

When the chairman asked if more training would help him prevent future mistakes as a magistrate judge?

"One-word answer, Mr. Chairman. 'Absolutely," Brown said.

Miller is not that confident.

"If I thought additional training was the answer, I wouldn't have written the letter," she said.

No decision was made on Brown's employment with the county at the end of Wednesday's meeting.

Miller said she found out about those 11 missing warrants on Wednesday morning prior to the special called meeting.

The hard copies are missing but she said the proper paperwork has been submitted for those cases.

She said those case won't be impacted.

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