Four Times a Charm?

The fourth opening on the Circuit Court for Montgomery County was created by the announcement that The Honorable William J. Rowan, III will retire effective April 4, 2009. The vacancy is to be filled by appointment of Governor Martin O’Malley. The Governor has the opportunity to go in a different direction from his last three appointments and select a candidate who currently serves on the bench of the District Court for Montgomery County. According to the Judicial Nominating Commission, that would include the Honorable John M. Conroy, the Honorable Barry A. Hamilton, or the Honorable Cheryl A. McCally. On its face, it would seem to be a no brainer decision. Judge Conroy and Judge McCally took the bench in June 2006. Judge Hamilton has been serving the citizens of Montgomery County as a District Court judge since 1966. With 12 years on the bench, and 20 years prior to that as an Assistant States Attorney for Montgomery County, it would appear to be a simple decision. But then again, the Governor has gone in a different direction in each of the last three appointments to the circuit court by selecting a county attorney, a family division master, and an attorney in private practice. Isn’t it about time to acknowledge the contributions of a loyal servant to the county and appoint a judge with nearly 30 years of courtroom experience? Isn’t that what the citizens of Montgomery County deserve?

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