James Epps III, longest serving city attorney in Tenn., dies - WMC Action News 5 - Memphis, Tennessee

James Epps III, longest serving city attorney in Tenn., dies

JOHNSON CITY, Tenn. (AP) - Johnson City's municipal attorney James Epps III died at home on Friday after a long battle with cancer.

He was 71.

With over 40 years representing Johnson City, he was the longest serving municipal attorney in the state and among the longest tenured in the nation.

Epps worked with more than 20 different incarnations of the City Commission over the years and officials often sought not only his legal opinions but his knowledge of the city's history.

"During his 41 years of loyalty and commitment to the citizens of this community he was involved in practically every major political decision the city made," Mayor Phil Roe said.

City manager Pete Peterson said the city would have to appoint an interim attorney while searching for a new city attorney.

Erick Herrin stood in for Epps at the last commission meeting but sat in the audience rather than in Epps' chair alongside the commissioners.

That meeting was one of very few that Epps had missed throughout his tenure with the city, despite his illness.

Visitation services will be held at Tetrick Funeral and Cremation Services on Monday beginning at 5 p.m. with the funeral service to follow at 8 p.m.

Committal services will be held Tuesday at 11 a.m. at Monte Vista Memorial Gardens.

(Copyright 2007 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)

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