KNOXVILLE, Tenn. (WATE) — Knox County General Sessions Judge Geoffrey P. Emery is retiring at the end of the year after being reelected into the position for five consecutive terms.

Emery served Knox County for more than 35 years in law. A graduate of the University of Tennessee College of Law, Emery joined the county Law Department in 1981 after a brief stint in private practice. He was Knox County’s first full-time assistant director of the department.

Five years later, Emery was appointed to the bench and has been in the position since.

“It has been my honor to serve the people of Knox County, and I am grateful for their steadfast support over the decades,” Emery said to the Knoxville Bar Association. “Now, however, it is time for me to step down and focus on spending quality time with my family.”

Emery’s last day is Dec. 31.