Varlan Sworn in as Eastern District's Chief Federal Judge

U.S. District Judge Tom Varlan yesterday accepted the gavel as chief judge for the Eastern District of Tennessee in a ceremony packed with fellow judges, politicians, lawyers and prosecutors, reports Knoxnews.com. Varlan is the first Greek-American to be appointed to a federal judgeship in the district and, now, as chief judge of that same district. Former Knoxville Mayor Victor Ashe served as master of ceremonies. Varlan was Knoxville's law director from 1988 to 1998 during Ashe's tenure and served as a legislative intern for Ashe. U.S. Rep. John J. Duncan Jr., R-Knoxville, spoke and said he played a "small role" in pushing for Varlan's appointment to the federal bench in 2003. He called Varlan "a man of integrity" with "the heart of a servant."