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Carroll County State’s Attorney DeLeonardo tapped by Gov. Hogan for circuit court seat

Carroll County State’s Attorney Brian DeLeonardo was appointed by Gov. Larry Hogan to serve on the Carroll County Circuit Court.

DeLeonardo received the news Friday shortly before the announcement was made by the governor’s office. He will be sworn in within 30 days. The current circuit court judges will appoint an interim state’s attorney until the next election.

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“Being the state’s attorney has been an incredibly rewarding and humbling experience,” DeLeonardo said in an interview. He added he enjoyed the work he’s done in the past 6-plus years. “To me this is an opportunity to bring that same passion to the judiciary.”

DeLeonardo was elected the position in 2014. He oversaw an office of 50 people, according to a news release, and handled approximately 7,000 criminal matters in district and circuit court each year.

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“Brian DeLeonardo has a long and distinguished record of service, and will make an outstanding addition to the circuit court,” Hogan said in a news release. “I am pleased to enthusiastically appoint him to serve the people of Carroll County.”

Carroll County Sheriff Jim DeWees said he wrote a letter of support for DeLeonardo for the position.

“He’s been a good state’s attorney to us,” he said, adding that he’ll be an outstanding judge also.

DeWees called DeLeonardo fair and impartial as a state’s attorney and doesn’t doubt he’ll be the same on the bench.

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“I hate to see him leave as a state’s attorney,” DeWees said.

DeLeonardo said he generally never looks to change what he does “unless I feel I really have something to add.” He said the job change is not as if he’s running away from something, but he felt compelled to contribute to the community in a different way. He said he feels well suited to help people in the courtroom after spending 15 years as a prosecutor and 10 years on the defense side.

“I really see both sides,” he said.

Before DeLeonardo was the state’s attorney, he was a partner at DeLeonardo, Smith & Associates for 10 years, a practice that handled mostly criminal cases. He spent four years in the Office of the Maryland Attorney General where he established and supervised the Firearms Trafficking Unit in the Criminal Investigations Division. And he worked five years as an assistant state’s attorney in Carroll’s State’s Attorney’s Office.

He’s a graduate of Towson University and University of Baltimore School of Law.

DeLeonardo will be taking the vacant seat of Judge Thomas Stansfield who retired from the seat last summer but now serves as a senior judge.

“I’m incredibly grateful for all the support I got from the community and citizens,” he said. “I’m thankful to the governor for placing that trust in me.”

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