O'Malley appoints nine judges, including Senate leader's son

Gov. Martin O'Malley has appointed nine lawyers, one of them the son of state Sen. President Thomas V. Mike Miller, to be trial judges.

Named to the Circuit Court bench in Baltimore were Kendra Y. Ausby, counsel for the Courts and Judicial Affairs Division of the attorney general's office and a former assistant public defender; Videtta A. Brown, a District Court judge and former prosecutor; Charles J. Peters, a federal prosecutor and former city prosecutor; and Stephen J. Sfekas, a health care lawyer who represents providers for the developmentally disabled.

"They seem like they will be very fine additions to our bench," W. Michel Pierson, acting administrative judge for the Baltimore Circuit Court, said Wednesday.

Tapped for the Anne Arundel County Circuit Court bench were career prosecutor Laura S. Kiessling, the deputy state's attorney; and trial and business law attorney Ronald H. Jarashow, a partner in an Annapolis law firm.

Thomas V. Miller III, a longtime commissioner on the state Parole Board, was named to a District Court vacancy in Arundel. His nomination for a District Court judgeship in 2008 led three members of the Anne Arundel County judicial nominating commission to resign in protest - Miller initially was not nominated by the judicial panel but showed up on its list when O'Malley told the commission to recommend more candidates, leading opponents to charge political meddling.

It led his father, like O'Malley a Democrat, to express concern that the political tempest would hurt his son's chance for the seat. O'Malley did not tap the younger Miller that year.

Joining the Montgomery County Circuit Court will be District Judge Cheryl A. McCally and Rockville lawyer Joseph M. Quirk, who specializes in family law.

In a statement, O'Malley called the appointees a "dedicated and accomplished group of candidates."

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