Circuit Court Judge Robert Crigler will be stepping down from the bench effective May 31. He had been appointed in 2005, replacing Judge Charles Lee, and was elected in 2006.
Before that, he served for 16 years as a prosecutor in the 17th Judicial District, which serves Bedford, Lincoln, Marshall and Moore counties.
"It's been an honor and a privilege to serve the people of the 17th Judicial District as a prosecutor and judge over the past 25 years," Crigler said.
Crigler is a graduate of the University of Tennessee College of Law and the University of Virginia, and also spent several years in private practice.
The judge told the T-G that he still has a few months to go in serving the public, but that he had been "doing it long enough," noting that he has not had a break from legal work since he finished law school at the age of 24.
Crigler stated that he was going to take some time to decide what to do next.
"It's time for a break," he said.
The state court system will take applications from attorneys residing in the 17th Judicial District, who will go before Tennessee's judicial nominating commission, Crigler said.
Following the lengthy application process, each lawyer will be interviewed by the commission, which then nominates three candidates for the judicial vacancy. Gov. Bill Haslam can then appoint one of the nominees or ask for a slate of three more nominees.
The commission was created in 2009 when Lt. Governor Ron Ramsey reformed the process for selecting the state's trial and appellate judges to provide more transparency and accountability.
Crigler's wife, Cyndi, is a teacher and she also will be retiring at the end of the school year. The Criglers have three adult children -- two daughters and one son.