By Nathan Baker
One of three local attorneys could be the next Criminal Court judge presiding over Carter, Johnson, Unicoi and Washington counties after they were tagged Friday by a Judicial Nominating Committee as finalists to replace Judge Lynn Brown.
The 17-member committee whittled a field of seven down to the three — Stacy Street of Elizabethton; Gene Scott Jr. of Watauga; and Steven Finney of Johnson City — to recommend to Gov. Bill Haslam, who will choose one to take over for Brown when he retires at the end of March.
A Hampton native, Finney, 51, a partner in the private practice firm of Slagle & Finney in Johnson City, started his law career in Elizabethton in 1990 at the small practice owned by Tom Cowan, according to the application he submitted to the state.
Shortly thereafter, he became an assistant district attorney under David Crockett in Carter County General Sessions Court, working there until 1997, when he moved to Washington County Criminal Court.
He left the district attorney’s office in 2007 and entered private practice, now acting as a defense attorney mostly in criminal cases in the First District.
Like Finney, Street, 45, began his law career in 1990 in Elizabethton.
He started as a clerk in the law office of Hampton & Hampton and worked up to associate and finally partner in 1996.
In 2010, he began a solo practice, working mainly criminal defense in City, General Sessions and Criminal courts in the four First District counties and Sullivan and Greene counties.