- The Washington Times - Friday, August 8, 2008

ANNAPOLIS | Gov. Martin O’Malley made his third appointment to Maryland’s highest court on Thursday, along with other judicial appointments that didn’t include the Senate president’s son, whose nomination for a district judgeship prompted cries of nepotism.

Judge Mary Ellen Barbera, who has been a member of the Court of Special Appeals since 2002, will replace retiring Court of Appeals Judge Irma Raker.

“Throughout her career - first as an attorney for the state and later as an appellate judge - she has shown impeccable judgment, integrity, intelligence and compassion,” Mr. O’Malley said of Judge Barbera.

Judge Barbera, 56, will represent Montgomery County in the Seventh Appellate Judicial Circuit for the Court of Appeals.

Mr. O’Malley, a Democrat, has had the opportunity to appoint three judges to the seven-member Court of Appeals in the first half of his term because of the court’s mandatory retirement age of 70. He already has appointed judges Sally Adkins and Joseph Murphy.

Judge Barbera taught elementary school in Baltimore’s public schools while she attended the University of Maryland School of Law at night.

Mr. O’Malley also appointed two Circuit Court judges and eight District Court judges for Anne Arundel, Calvert, Cecil and Prince George’s counties.

The process for filling one of the Anne Arundel County judgeships generated controversy after three members of the county’s judicial nominating commission resigned in protest after the Senate president’s son, Thomas V. Miller III, was nominated for a district judgeship.

Mr. O’Malley, when questioned on a Washington radio program in June about the controversy, said he believed it was unfair to rule out politically connected appointees, as long as they are qualified.

Nevertheless, the younger Mr. Miller, who has served on the Maryland Parole Commission for 12 years, didn’t get the appointment. He is the son of Senate President Thomas V. Mike Miller Jr., a Democrat.

Mr. O’Malley’s Anne Arundel County District Court appointments include:

cHenry Duden III, an Annapolis attorney

cEileen Reilly, a county prosecutor

cShaem Spencer, city attorney of Annapolis

Mr. O’Malley also named two judges to Maryland’s intermediate appellate court, the Court of Special Appeals. Baltimore City Circuit Court Judge Albert Matricciani Jr. will fill the vacancy created by Judge Barbera’s appointment. Kathryn Grill Graef, who is chief of the Criminal Appeals Division of the Maryland attorney general’s office, will take the place of retiring Judge J. Frederick Sharer.

In Baltimore, Mr. O’Malley appointed Marcus Shar to fill the vacancy created by Judge Matricciani. The governor appointed Edward Gregory Wells, an assistant attorney general, to the Calvert County District Court.

Other appointments include:

Bonnie Gullatt Schneider for the Cecil County District Court; District Court Judge Leo Green Jr., Tiffany Hanna Anderson, Richard Collins and Lawrence V. Hill Jr. to the Prince George’s County Circuit Court.

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