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Joyce says he'd be visible if elected state's attorney

July 10, 2006|by PEPPER BALLARD

HAGERSTOWN

If elected Washington County State's Attorney, Jerry Joyce said he would use 10 percent of his annual salary to build and maintain a Web site that would log pictures and street names of convicted drug dealers.

Joyce, 57, of 109 N. Potomac St. in Hagerstown, filed July 3 for the post, making him the only Democratic contender in the four-man race.

Republicans Gordon A. Lynn and Gregory C. Bannon will face incumbent State's Attorney Charles P. Strong Jr. in the Sept. 12 primary. The general election is Nov. 7.

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Joyce, a private attorney in Hagerstown, said he decided to run because he "thought it would be a great opportunity."

He said he would pledge 10 percent of his salary each year toward the Web site, to programs that would cut down on fraud and the victimization of the elderly and to organizations such as the Police Athletic League, which helps disadvantaged children.

The state's attorney makes $100,350 a year, County Attorney Richard W. Douglas has said.

Joyce said he is "very disappointed with the way the office has been run" under Strong.

"My feeling is that a person's social status affects how they're treated in the State's Attorney's Office," he said.

He said he wants to see jails filled with people who are a danger to the community and not with people who make small mistakes.

Joyce worked as a prosecutor from 1990 to 2000 - in Washington County and in Carroll County, Md.

"I liked being a prosecutor because I liked going after the bad guys, but I learned as a prosecutor that they're not all bad guys," he said.

Joyce said he wants to open the "lines of communication" among prosecutors and those living in communities where drug dealing is an issue.

"I would want to go to the parts of town targeted by drug dealers so they can see my face and I can learn their names," he said.

Raised in Baltimore, Joyce said he worked his way through college at Towson State (now Towson University), where he got a bachelor's degree in sociology, doing "blue-collar jobs," such as driving trucks and working at a steel mill, from 1967 to 1977. He got his law degree from the University of Baltimore in 1989.

Before he became a lawyer, Joyce worked 13 years as a criminal investigator for Maryland. While he was in law school, he worked as a fraud investigator for Prudential Insurance Co., he said.

Joyce has two children with his ex-wife, Washington County Assistant State's Attorney Gina Cirincion. He also has a 32-year-old daughter who lives in Seattle.

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