Ehrlich names 3 to county bench

December 16, 2005|By PHILLIP MCGOWAN | PHILLIP MCGOWAN,SUN REPORTER

Gov. Robert L. Ehrlich Jr. has selected one current and two former Anne Arundel County prosecutors for the county bench, including former County Councilman William C. Mulford II to the newly created 11th Circuit Court judgeship.

The governor named Thomas J. Pryal and Danielle Mosley to the District Court bench. Pryal is a Circuit Court master who oversees juvenile and family cases; Mosley is an assistant state's attorney who supervises prosecutions at Glen Burnie District Court.

Mosley was the only woman among the nine finalists forwarded to the governor this fall for consideration for a District Court or Circuit Court position, or both.

"Their experience and ability will further the best interests of the citizens of Maryland and the judicial system during their respective terms," Ehrlich said in a statement released yesterday.

Mulford, 45, said he was informed of his appointment in a phone call from Ehrlich at 5 p.m. Wednesday. The former prosecutor said he spent yesterday afternoon preparing his transition from attorney to judge, which includes purchasing a robe.

"Someone was telling me that you have to wear a robe into the courtroom," said Mulford, who is expected to start his new position in mid-January.

Mosley succeeds Martha F. Rasin, who retired. Pryal fills a new judgeship created by the General Assembly.

Anne Arundel County State's Attorney Frank R. Weathersbee, who has supervised each of the future judges, expressed "an overwhelming amount of pride. I applaud the governor for his choices. They will serve the state equally well."

Weathersbee pointed to their extensive backgrounds in criminal cases as reasons each will succeed.

Mulford served as a prosecutor for eight years, focusing on narcotics and sexual offenses, before his election to the County Council in 1994 as a Republican representing the Annapolis area. His council election prompted him to resign and start a private practice. Mulford was defeated in his 1998 re-election bid by Democrat Barbara D. Samorajczyk.

The county's Judicial Nominating Commission, which screens applicants' qualifications, forwarded the names of six lawyers, including Mulford, to the governor's office last month for consideration for the Circuit Court opening.

Weathersbee said the Circuit Court bench has "lacked some firmness as to imposing sentencing." He said that situation is "slowly but surely changing" and that Mulford's selection would continue that transition.

Mosley, 38, began work as an assistant state's attorney in 1995 and became chief of the Glen Burnie District Court division before she left the office in 2000. She served as legal counsel to the Office of Inspector General for the U.S. Postal Service for eight months before rejoining Weathersbee's staff in February 2001.

Pryal, 42, worked for the state's attorney's office from 1989 to 2001, serving as chief prosecutor of handgun and juvenile crimes and criminal appeals. He also served as a member of the violent- crimes team. He has served as a master of chancery for the Circuit Court since January 2001.

Mosley and Pryal were also among the seven finalists forwarded to the governor by the county's Judicial Nominating Commission in 2002.

phill.mcgowan@baltsun.com

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