Deputy state's attorney resigns effective Aug. 1 Sitterding to join husband in private law practice

July 03, 1996|By Mike Farabaugh | Mike Farabaugh,SUN STAFF

Prosecutor Martha Ann Sitterding has resigned as deputy state's attorney for Carroll County, effective Aug. 1, to join her husband's growing private law practice in Westminster, she said yesterday.

The transition from prosecuting attorney to defense attorney should not be difficult, she said.

"As a prosecutor, you ask yourself, 'What do I have here, and what does it tell me?' As a defense attorney, you ask, "What's here, and what's the matter with it?' "

Sitterding joined the state's attorney's office 18 months ago after 13 years specializing in sexual offense cases with the Public Defender's Office of Carroll County.

During much of that span, Sitterding also had a private practice, but she chose to become a full-time public defender after state legislators said in 1990 that public defenders could no longer practice privately.

Sitterding is a 1980 graduate of the University of Maryland School of Law. While attending college and law school, she worked with the Public Defender's Office. After passing the bar examination in 1981, she was briefly a public defender in Harford County before returning to Carroll County in 1982.

In 1995, she joined the county prosecutor's staff under State's Attorney Jerry F. Barnes.

"Now is the time to make the move," said Sitterding, 41. "I have wanted to resume private practice.

In joining her husband, Thomas F. Stansfield, whose law office is at 1 Court Place, Sitterding is moving a long block away.

She said her stint as a prosecutor has given her the chance to "truly reflect on how the criminal justice system works."

"I am recommitted to the concept that both sides -- prosecution and defense -- have a critical part to play."

Pub Date: 7/03/96

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