Glendening gives judicial promotions to friend and former legal adviser

November 03, 1999|By Thomas W. Waldron | Thomas W. Waldron,SUN STAFF

Gov. Parris N. Glendening gave judicial promotions in Prince George's County to one of his best friends and his former legal adviser yesterday.

The governor elevated District Court Judges Ronald D. Schiff and Michael P. Whalen to the Prince George's Circuit Court.

He also reappointed Circuit Court Judge G. R. Hovey Johnson, whose term is expiring.

Schiff, 60, is a close friend of Glendening's. The governor appointed him to the District Court in 1996.

"Almost anybody who is a candidate in Prince George's County is going to have a long-standing relationship with the governor," Glendening spokesman Michael Morrill said when asked about the two men's friendship. "Clearly, the governor is making decisions on qualifications."

Glendening served as Prince George's County executive for 12 years before becoming governor in 1995.

Whalen, who also is being elevated to Circuit Court, was Glendening's county attorney from 1988 to 1995, when the governor appointed him to the District Court.

Whalen, 53, also is a former Prince George's County prosecutor.

With his reappointment, Johnson, 68, will be eligible to serve until the mandatory retirement age of 70.

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