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County needs to fill constable vacancy
Mark Stewart constable.jpg
Constable Mark Stewart

Warren County government will be accepting applications to fill a vacant constable position with the passing of District 11 Constable Mark Stewart on Sept. 25.

“We didn’t do it the right way last time we had a constable vacancy,” said Warren County Executive Jimmy Haley of the process followed in 2015. “We need to follow Tennessee Code Annotated. Mark Stewart passed away so we have a vacancy in the 11th District. We’ve had several people inquire about it.”

Haley says the process followed in November 2015 that appointed Stewart to replace Raymond Roberts, who resigned, was wrong. In that instance, the county’s Safety Committee selected Stewart and the full Warren County Commission unanimously approved.

The commission does appoint, but not by committee recommendation.

“A vacancy for a constable’s position is filled by appointment by the County Commission,” said Haley, who read state law. “Any person designed to be selected should sign a qualifying affidavit with the Election Commission establishing their qualifications for the position and file the same with the county clerk. The vacancy must be filled by the County Commission within 120 days of notification.”

Among the qualifications, candidates must be at least 21 years old and be a qualified voter of the district.

Safety Committee members met Monday, and Haley asked permission to advertise the vacancy with the process candidates must follow to be considered.

Stewart was elected in August. Also vying for the position was Ed Farmelo.

“I think one commissioner has already told him that he’s next in line so we’ll just give it to you,” said Haley, of Farmelo. “We can’t do that.”

Commissioner Ron Lee stated, “He can file for the position just like everyone else, if he still wants it.”

“Yes,” said Haley.

Committee members unanimously approved advertising the position. “I think it will be too late to get it on the agenda for November,” said Haley. “With advertising, it will likely be December before it’s on the agenda.”

The appointed constable will serve until the next general election in August 2022.