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Six slated to vie for new Circuit Court judgeship

October 26, 2005|By ERIN CUNNINGHAM

HAGERSTOWN

erinc@herald-mail.com

Six people will vie for a judgeship opening in Washington County Circuit Court. The list of possible judges was released Tuesday - the last day for nominations.

Gina M. Cirincion, Daniel Patrick Dwyer, District Judge M. Kenneth Long Jr., Dana Lynne Moylan, Scott Lee Schubel and Margaret Lynn Williams submitted applications to fill the judgeship. The position was created during the last session of the Maryland General Assembly.

Whoever fills the post will be the county's fifth Circuit Court judge.

Cirincion, 40, of Clear Spring, is the senior assistant state's attorney, and said she looks forward to taking her practice to the next level. She also sees an opportunity to continue her work with mentally ill defendants.

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Cirincion, a registered Republican, said she started a program a few years ago that identifies nonviolent mentally ill defendants and looks for alternatives to incarceration for those defendants.

"We get them treatment so they don't continue to re-offend," she said. "It's something I'm really proud of."

Cirincion has worked in the state's attorney's office for more than 11 years and said she has been practicing law for almost 15 years.

She has been the chief child abuse and sexual assault prosecutor for years.

"By taking my practice to the next level, hopefully I can make a difference with a greater population," Cirincion said. "I've tried to base my career on equal treatment."

Cirincion, Moylan or Williams, if named to the judgeship, would be the only female Washington County judge.

Moylan said it would be exciting for the county to have a female judge, but that is not what the decision should be based on.

"It is a really good field of candidates," she said.

Moylan, 39, is a registered Democrat, and works with civil litigation at Miller, Oliver, Baker, Moylan and Stone - a private firm where she is a partner. She has been with the firm since 1994.

Moylan grew up in Hagerstown and worked briefly in Baltimore before moving to Funkstown, where she now lives. Moylan said she applied for the judgeship to make a different contribution.

"I think it is a very different kind of contribution to the legal system than one makes as an advocate," she said. "I think there's a great opportunity to have positive impact on both individuals and the systems that we all function within."

Attempts to reach Dwyer, Schubel and Williams were unsuccessful Tuesday. Long did not return two phone calls.

Dwyer applied for a Washington County District Court judgeship opening in February 2004. At the time, he was a private attorney in Hagerstown.

Long, who was a registered Republican, was nominated to that position. Prior to his nomination, Long was the Washington County state's attorney.

Williams also applied for the District Court judgeship in 2004. At the time, she was a private attorney practicing civil law and a registered Democrat.

A committee is scheduled to meet Nov. 30. A decision is expected within a day of that meeting.

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