Two Attorneys, Judge Nominated For Court Vacancy

October 28, 1990|By Maria Archangelo | Maria Archangelo,Staff writer

Two Carroll attorneys and a district judge have been nominated to fill the vacant spot on the Carroll Circuit Court created by the September retirement of Judge Donald J. Gilmore.

A gubernatorial judicial nominating commission chose the three candidates Wednesday from a pool of five applicants, said Judith C. Levinson, the legal officer for the State Administrative Office of the Courts.

The names and files of candidates Charles M. Preston, Marc G. Rasinsky and Administrative Judge Francis M. Arnold were sent to Gov. William Donald Schaefer early Thursday afternoon, Levinson said.

The governor has no time limit to make his decision.

"I'm sure there will be members of the various bar associations calling the governor and asking him to make his decision as soon as possible," said Levinson.

Raymond Feldmann, an assistant press secretary to the governor, said it is doubtful that Schaefer will make his selection before the end of the year.

He said the governor will have to interview each of the candidates, and those arrangements will not be made until well after the general election on Nov. 6.

The governor can ask the nominating commission to review applications and nominate more people, which could lengthen the selection process, Feldmann said.

In July 1989, the commission nominated four Carroll attorneys for the third Circuit Court seat now occupied by former state Sen. Raymond E. Beck.

Among the four candidates whose names were submitted to the governor in 1989 are two who are vying for Gilmore's position -- Westminster's Preston and Rasinsky.

Juvenile Court Master Peter M. Tabatsko and attorney James A. Gede also filed applications and interviewed for the post but were not nominated, Levinson said.

Levinson said it is somewhat unusual to have only five applicants for the circuit judgeship, which pays $89,000 a year.

Some sources speculated that Arnold's decision to enter the race may have kept the number of challengers low.

Arnold, 61, serves as the administrative judge in District Court and has been on the bench since 1980. His District Court term expires in the year 2000.

If Arnold is appointed to the Circuit Court, a vacancy would be created on the district bench.

Levinson said the process to fill a District Court vacancy is similar to that for Circuit Court. A judicial nominating commission reviews applications, interviews the applicants, then forwards their names to the governor.

District judgeship candidates do not have to submit writing samples. And, unlike circuit judges, district judges can be reappointed by the governor every 10 years.

Circuit Court judges must stand for a retention vote in the first general election after they are appointed. Beck, who was sworn in as a circuit judge Oct. 3, 1989, is up for a retention vote in November.

Both of the remaining nominees are experienced and respected Carroll County attorneys.

Rasinsky, president of the Carroll County Bar Association, is a private practice attorney specializing in domestic relations. He is a former member of the Carroll County Public Defender's Office and a graduate of the University of Maryland Law School.

Preston, 44, clerked for former Judge Edward O. Weant after graduation from the University of Baltimore Law School in 1970. He also is a private practice attorney in Westminster.

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