WESTMINSTER - For the third time in two years, Carroll County is searching for a judge.
Gov. William Donald Schaefer named Carroll District Judge Francis M.
Arnold to the Circuit Court on Saturday, creating a vacancy on the district bench.
Arnold, 61, will fill the seat opened by the September retirement of Judge Donald J. Gilmore.
A similar search was conducted last year, when the General Assembly created a third seat on the Carroll Circuit Court. That seat was filled by former state Sen. Raymond E. Beck.
Like the selection of a new judge for Circuit Court, the District Court vacancy created by Arnold will be advertised for three weeks in The Daily Record, a business and legal newspaper.
Interested applicants for the $82,300 post will have to fill out 42-question forms, which are then submitted to the 13-member Judicial Nominating Commission.
Unlike applicants for the Circuit Court bench, those for District Court do not have to submit writing samples, said Michael V. O'Malley, assistant state court administrator. He said he had not set a closing date for applications.
Unsuccessful applicants for the Circuit Court job -- attorneys Charles M. Preston, Marc G. Rasinsky and James A. Gede, and Juvenile Court Master Peter M. Tabatsko -- can reactivate their applications for the district judgeship, but still have to go through interviews with the commission and governor, O'Malley said.
Though Preston and Rasinsky were nominated for the Circuit Court seat along with Arnold, they will not be nominated automatically for the new vacancy.
"A nomination for Circuit Court does not automatically nominate them for District Court," O'Malley said. "If another Carroll Circuit Court position opens up in the next 12 months, however, they would stay in the pool for that."
Rasinsky and Preston said they have not decided whether to apply for the District Court position.
Arnold, who has been on the District Court since 1980, serves as its administrative judge. Robert F. Sweeney, chief judge of Maryland District Court, said he will decide who will take over as administrative judge this week.
"I want whomever I choose to have a chance to work with Judge Arnold before he leaves," he said.
Sweeney can choose any of the five remaining judges in District 10, which is made up of Howard and Carroll counties. The remaining Carroll district judge is Donald Smith.
Arnold said he is excited by his appointment and anxious to begin his new job. He expects his swearing-in ceremony for the $89,000 post to be held during the week between Christmas and New Year's.
"If things are very hectic I may sneak down to the clerk's office and take the oath the week before Christmas and have the formal ceremony the week after," he said.