Court Watch Partners selected General Sessions Court Judge Bob Moon as Judge of the Year at a luncheon at the Mountain City Club on Tuesday.
Rep. Zach Wamp presented the award, calling Judge Moon "a good man whose whole heart is about the kids. He wants to keep young people out of jail and on the right road."
General Sessions Court Judges David Bales and Christie Mahn Sell and City Judge Sherry Paty received the "Outstanding Judicial Service" award.
Lee Tripp is chairman of the group, which he said has 24 members, including six liaisons assigned by several agencies.
Chairman Tripp also presented Judge Moon with a small scale model of a 1940 Ford truck acknowledging that he knew that the judge was a collector of 1940 Ford antique vehicles.
The awards were presented based upon a comprehensive judicial evaluation of each judge using the criteria of public service, knowledge and administration of the law, community involvement and judicial ethics, officials said.
Judge Moon said, "First, I want to thank the Court Watch Partners for this wonderful event on behalf of my colleagues and myself. This recognition is especially meaningful to me because it comes from the people; it comes from the very people who elect us and who entrust us with their local judicial system.
"The Court Watch Partners contribute hundreds of unpaid and unselfish hours annually to the courts and for our community. I also want to thank the Boys & Girls Club of Chattanooga who took a chance on me many years ago. Without the assistance and guidance of that wonderful organization, I have no doubt that I would not be here today.
"Secondly, I want to thank Congressman Zach Wamp and Rep. Richard Floyd for making this very special occasion even more special by their presence, kind words and their participation. I wish that I could tell you both how I appreciate you, but in an election year the Canons of Judicial Ethics preclude my public endorsement.
"Third, I want to thank my staff, Emma Whitmire, Pam Melton and Jan Horn. I also want to thank my bench clerk, Richard Darwin, and my court officer, Claude Sterling. All of these wonderful people through their loyalty, professionalism and hard work make what would otherwise appear to be a mundane judge look much better than he deserves. All are committed county employees who do a wonderful job for me and for the people of Hamilton County.
"Fourth, there are three men who I owe a great deal of gratitude and without whom I would not be here. It has been a long time since I have had the privilege of thanking them publicly. My campaign managers, attorneys Hal North and Jay Morgan, and my campaign treasurer, Joe Decosimo, have been wonderful friends and great advisors. Hal, Jay and Joe, thank you all so very much for all that you have done for me.
"Last, but certainly not least, I so very much appreciate my mother, Chris Moon, and my wife, Debbie Moon, for coming today. Thank you both for the care, concern and support that you have given through the years. It would have been wonderful if my father could have been here today. He passed three weeks after my election in August of 1998. Nonetheless, as you all can see, we are a small family - in fact we are now down to only one full moon, three half moons and no quarter moons. But it is my family for which I am most proud and thankful.
"In conclusion, let me say, it is a delight to work with my colleagues that will also be honored here today. So many of our judges in Hamilton County are outstanding every day and many deserve the recognition that has been given to us today. Thank all of you for making this a very special day for me, my family and my friends."