DiGregory sworn in as top prosecutor
CHESTERTOWN — Prosecutors Bryan DiGregory and Robert “Bobby” Mowell swapped seats Monday morning.
During a brief ceremony in the Circuit Court for Kent County, DiGregory was sworn in as the county’s chief law enforcement officer, a job he won in November’s general election for state’s attorney.
He succeeds Mowell, who had been the interim since appointment to the post in September 2017 when then-state’s attorney Harris Murphy ascended to the bench as Gov. Larry Hogan’s choice for circuit court judge.
Mowell, who did not seek election in November, is now DiGregory’s deputy.
Chloe Campbell remains the assistant state’s attorney.
Mowell and Campbell also were sworn in Monday.
Judge Murphy, who won election to a 15-year term in November, presided.
“The duty of a prosecutor is to seek justice, not just convictions,” Murphy said from the bench.
The judge said he was confident that DiGregory would uphold the mission of serving justice. He also congratulated Kent County for having elected DiGregory as state’s attorney.
Kent County Attorney Tom Yeager, District Court Judge John E. Nunn III and several other lawyers, including Mowell’s father, Mitch, sat in the jury box.
In the gallery were friends, clerk’s office staff and colleagues, including public defender Matt Emmick, Queen Anne’s County State’s Attorney Lance Richardson, former Kent state’s attorney Susanne Hayman and two members of the county’s drug task force.
For the formal swearing-in ceremony, DiGregory, 55, stood inside the rail, which separates officers of the court from the public. He recited the oath as administered by Clerk of the Court Mark Mumford.
Molly DiGregory, whose birthday was Monday, held the Bible for her father. Another daughter, Kate, and DiGregory’s in-laws, Judy and Rob McSparran of Chestertown, also were inside the rail.
DiGregory said his wife Anne was unable to attend because she was out of the country on a business trip.
At the conclusion of the ceremony, DiGregory shook hands with Mumford and Murphy.
He then signed the test book. Separate swearing-in ceremonies followed for Mowell and Campbell. They followed the same script as DiGregory — reciting the oath, receiving congratulations from the judge and the clerk, and signing the test book.
Court was then adjourned.
By design, the circuit court docket was light Monday. There was only one case, a guilty plea to drug charges that was taken by Mowell.
In an email Monday afternoon, Di- Gregory said he and Mowell handle the more serious cases. Campbell’s caseload currently is primarily in district court, where traffic cases and misdemeanor criminal cases are tried.
Moving forward, “the plan is for the three of us to rotate through district court and follow cases up from district to circuit,” DiGregory wrote in the email.
DiGregory is a graduate of Widener University Delaware Law School. He has about 20 years of criminal trial experience, which includes working as a public defender in Pennsylvania and Queen Anne’s County.
He has lived in the Chestertown area for more than 10 years.
Mowell grew up near Chestertown, on the other side of the Chester River in the Deep Landing area, and attended Queen Anne’s County public schools throughout.
He is a 2006 graduate of Washington and Lee University in Lexington, Va., and a cum laude graduate of the University of Baltimore School of Law.
He became the Kent County assistant state’s attorney in March 2016, brought on board by then chief prosecutor Harris Murphy.
A Cecil County native, Campbell graduated in December 2016 from Widener law school and took the Maryland bar exam the following February. She joined the Kent County prosecutor’s office in October 2017.
With oldest daughter Molly holding the Bible, Bryan DiGregory is sworn in as Kent County State’s Attorney on Monday. Circuit Court Judge Harris Murphy presides. Clerk of the Court Mark Mumford administers the oath of office. Also participating in the ceremony are DiGregory’s younger daughter, Kate, and his in-laws, Judy and Bob McSparran of Chestertown.