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Extra judge requested

February 02, 2005|by TAMELA BAKER

ANNAPOLIS - Washington County legislators were pleased to hear Chief Judge Robert M. Bell of the Court of Appeals call for an additional Circuit Court judge on Tuesday during his annual State of the Judiciary address to the General Assembly.

Bell said the judiciary had asked for six new District Court judges and seven new Circuit Court judges, one of which would be assigned to Washington County, in its proposed budget for fiscal year 2006.

He also called for a four-year, phase-in salary increase for judges.

Washington County has four Circuit Court judges. The Washington County Delegation has supported the addition of a fifth Circuit judge for several years. An analysis by the Administrative Office of the Courts reported last fall that the Washington County caseload justified a fifth judge for about 10 years.

"I'm happy to hear about another judge in Washington County," said Del. John P. Donoghue, D-Washington. "The position is overdue."

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Donoghue said he believed local judges were "entitled to more compensation most of them could make double what they make" as judges if they worked in the private sector.

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