Dewberry picked for judge's post

Catonsville delegate to oversee Office of Administrative Hearings


Del. Thomas E. Dewberry, a Catonsville Democrat and speaker pro tem of the House of Delegates, was named chief administrative law judge yesterday by Gov. Parris N. Glendening.

The move had been expected since the end of the legislative session last month, and it continues the exodus of experienced legislators from the Baltimore County delegation.

In his new job, Dewberry, 51, will oversee the Office of Administrative Hearings, which hears cases from citizens and businesses with complaints about the actions of state agencies. He will also supervise the 11-member State Advisory Committee on Administrative Hearings.

Glendening praised Dewberry's legal expertise and what he called his sense of fairness and inclusion.

House Speaker Casper R. Taylor Jr. said that he is sad to see Dewberry leave the legislature but is sure the delegate is well qualified for his new post.

"Tom's sense of fairness, his compassion and his even temperament are qualities that he brings to the job every day, and he will without a doubt serve the state well in his new position," Taylor said in a prepared statement.

Dewberry has been a member of the House since 1990 and speaker pro tem since 1996. He has worked for the Public Service Commission since 1979 and currently serves as a senior hearing examiner.

Dewberry's job change is the most recent of several high-profile departures from the Baltimore County delegation. Sen. Thomas L. Bromwell, chairman of the Senate Finance Committee, has announced he will head the Injured Workers Insurance Fund. Del. Michael J. Finifter was recently named a Circuit Court judge.

Michael J. Collins, chairman of the county's Senate delegation, has said he might step down when his term expires.

Dewberry is replacing Judge John Hardwicke, who is retiring. Dewberry must be confirmed by state Senate next year.

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