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Four finalists chosen for judicial vacancy

May 12, 2009|By ANDREW SCHOTZ

WASHINGTON COUNTY -- Two men and two women are finalists for a vacant district court judge position in Washington County.

A judicial nominating commission picked Mary Anne Day, Roland David Pembroke, Scott Lee Schubel and Dana Moylan Wright as finalists.

Shaun Adamec, a spokesman for Gov. Martin O'Malley, said in an e-mail on Tuesday that the governor will interview the finalists June 2 and review their applications before making a decision.

The seat has been vacant since April 30, when Ralph H. France II retired after nearly 14 years on the bench.

Twelve people applied for the position.

Besides the four finalists, the other applicants were G. Clair Baker Jr.; Mark Kenneth Boyer; Kelly Stebbins Cromer; Jerome Joseph Joyce; Edward Lester Kuczynski; Michael Ellsworth Nehring; Andrew Fisher Wilkinson; and Margaret Lynn Williams.

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Baker withdrew his name when he was going to be named a domestic relations master for the county. A domestic relations master hears cases about divorce, custody, visitation, child support and alimony, then makes recommendations to a judge.

The Judicial Nominating Commission of Washington County met April 30 to vote on its choices. The commission is required to send at least three finalists to O'Malley, who will make the final decision.

In Maryland, district court judges are appointed by the governor and confirmed by the state Senate for 10-year terms or until mandatory retirement at age 70.

The salary for a district court judge is $127,252 as of July 1, 2008.

Washington County's other district court judge is Mark D. Thomas.

The judicial nominating commission in Washington County has 13 members.

Patricia K. Cushwa, the chairwoman, said three commission members -- John H. Urner, Kirk C. Downey and Michelle Dawn Flores -- recused themselves from the process this time because of connections they had to candidates.

The commission needs to have at least nine members participating to take a vote, Cushwa said.

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