Ho­gan com­ing to Ce­cil for ju­di­cial can­di­date in­ter­views



— Four fi­nal­ists vy­ing for two open Ce­cil County judge­ships will en­joy a home­field ad­van­tage of sorts next month when Gov. Larry Ho­gan comes to Elkton to meet them in­di­vid­u­ally — de­vi­at­ing from the prac­tice of con­duct­ing those ju­di­cial can­di­date in­ter­views at the State House in An­napo­lis.

“This will save them a trip to An­napo­lis,” Ho­gan told the Ce­cil Whig last week in Ocean City, where the gov­er­nor served as the key­note speaker on the fi­nal day of the Mary­land State’s At­tor­neys As­so­ci­a­tion’s three-day con­ven­tion.

Ho­gan ex­plained that, when­ever pos­si­ble, he wants to con­duct ju­di­cial in­ter­views and other types of gu­ber­na­to­rial busi­ness in the coun­ties that he is vis­it­ing as part of


his schedule, al­low­ing him to multi-task to in­crease pro­duc­tiv­ity.

The gov­er­nor noted that, for ex­am­ple, he had con­ducted ju­di­cial in­ter­views for a va­cant judge­ship in Wi­comico County ear­lier this month while tour­ing that county, com­ment­ing, “Our schedule has been so crazy busy.” The gov­er­nor con­ducted those in­ter­views on June 21.

Ho­gan is sched­uled to be in Ce­cil County next week, re­port­edly, in part, for a fundraiser ben­e­fit­ing his cam­paign for re-elec­tion in 2018.

Matt Bar­rett, who is Ce­cil County Cir­cuit Court ad­min­is­tra­tor, re­ported that Ho­gan is sched­uled to in­ter­view the four ju­di­cial can­di­dates on July 6 in Elkton.

“As far as I’m aware, a gov­er­nor has never come to the county to con­duct (ju­di­cial can­di­date) in­ter­views. His­tor­i­cally, they are done at the gov­er­nor’s of­fice in An­napo­lis,” Bar­rett said.

Ho­gan is sched­uled to in­ter­view Elkton-based lawyers Clara Camp­bell, Wil­liam W. Davis Jr. and Ed­win B. Fock­ler IV for a Ce­cil County Dis­trict Court judge­ship that opened when Stephen J. Baker re­tired in Septem­ber. Those three at­tor­neys had made the “short list” sent to the gov­er­nor, af­ter they and other ap­pli­cants went through an in­volved nom­i­nat­ing process.

The gov­er­nor also is sched­uled to in­ter­view Davis and Fock­ler — they had ap­plied for both judge­ships — and now-be­lea­guered Ce­cil County State’s At­tor­ney Ed­ward D.E. “El­lis” Rollins III, all of whom made the short list for an open Ce­cil County Cir­cuit Court judge­ship af­ter go­ing through the same nom­i­nat­ing process. They are seek­ing a judge­ship va­cated by V. Michael Whe­lan, who re­tired in Jan­uary.

Rollins was ar­rested about 4 p.m. June 22 — roughly four hours af­ter the con­ven­tion had ended — at the beach­front Clar­ion Re­sort Foun­tainebleau Ho­tel where he and his wife, Holly, had been stay­ing as guests.

On Mon­day, the Worces­ter County State’s At­tor­ney’s Of­fice charged Rollins with two counts each of in­de­cent ex­po­sure and disorderly con­duct re­lat­ing to two sep­a­rate in­ci­dents that had oc­curred at their ho­tel.

Rollins’ crim­i­nal case raises ques­tions about how the gov­er­nor will pro­ceed with the sched­uled ju­di­cial can­di­date in­ter­views in Ce­cil County next week.

“We are look­ing into it. Once the (short list) names have been sent over, I’m not sure if there is flex­i­bil­ity for al­ter­ing it or if the gov­er­nor has to se­lect from the names sent to him,” Matthew Clark, a spokesman for the Mary­land Of­fice of the Gov­er­nor, said Tues­day. “We’re go­ing to have to look into the process. I don’t know the an­swer to your ques­tion right now.”

Ho­gan con­duct­ing the ju­di­cial can­di­date in­ter­views in Elkton next week is a way for him to han­dle one of his many gu­ber­na­to­rial du­ties, while hon­or­ing his “com­mit­ment to visit ev­ery ju­ris­dic­tion in the state at least once a year,” ac­cord­ing to Clark, who noted that work can pile up when Ho­gan leaves An­napo­lis to tour Mary­land or to visit state ju­ris­dic­tions for gov­ern­ment busi­ness.

Clark said he has only anec­do­tal ev­i­dence to sug­gest that Ho­gan’s prac­tice of con­duct­ing ju­di­cial can­di­date in­ter­views in the ap­pli­ca­ble coun­ties, such as Ce­cil, is unique.

“All the feed­back we have is it’s never been done this way in the past. Nor­mally, they are done in An­napo­lis,” he said.

Davis, who made both short lists, is pleased that the gov­er­nor will in­ter­view him and the other can­di­dates in the Ce­cil County Cir­cuit Court­house, rather than in An­napo­lis, be­cause the sur­round­ings are fa­mil­iar to him, he said.

“I’ve talked to some past (short list) can­di­dates who said they liked go­ing to the State House, while oth­ers told me it was in­tim­i­dat­ing,” Davis said. “For me, it’s get­ting done in a fa­mil­iar place and I like that. This tells you a lot about our gov­er­nor. It’s very con­sid­er­ate of him to in­ter­view us up here.”


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