Hymes to retire as state's attorney when term ends A second lawyer enters 1994 race


After winning four consecutive terms as Howard County's state's attorney, William R. Hymes will forgo a fifth race in 1994.

This summer, the county's top prosecutor said he was unsure about whether to run for another four-year term, citing unfinished business such as the computerization of his office. But he has now decided to retire.

"I'll be 68 when this term ends," said Mr. Hymes, a Democrat. "I firmly believe there comes a time when the senior citizens should make way for a new generation."

Mr. Hymes has overseen convictions in such well-publicized cases as the carjacking murder of Dr. Pam Basu last year and the murder of State Police Cpl. Theodore D. Wolf in 1990.

So far, two lawyers have announced their candidacies for the post.

Joseph Fleischmann II, a 50-year-old Republican from Ellicott City, filed his candidacy papers with the county Board of Elections on Sept. 13.

Michael Allen Weal, a 46-year-old Democrat from Ellicott City, filed for the post in July.

A 16-year veteran of the county prosecutor's office, Mr. Weal has been chief of the State's Attorney's District Court Division since 1979.

Mr. Fleischmann, a divorced father of two children and a U.S. Army veteran, said he hopes to bring innovative ideas to the state's attorney's office that would include suggestions from citizens and victims of crime.

"I think what is necessary is a re-evaluation," said Mr. Fleischmann, who received his law degree from the University of Baltimore in 1973.

"This county needs a little infusion of another approach," he said.

Mr. Fleischmann, if elected, proposes to establish a community panel made up of business and civic leaders to learn the concerns of county residents about crime and to study the decriminalization of some offenses to relieve the backlog in the courts.

Mr. Fleischmann said he would establish an open-door policy to allow citizens and victims of crime to give input for prosecuting certain cases and sentencing defendants.

Mr. Fleischmann, a former prosecutor in Baltimore and in Howard County, made unsuccessful bids for the state's attorney spot in 1982 and 1990.

In 1982, he lost in the Democratic primary to Mr. Hymes.

He later switched political parties and lost in the 1990 Republican primary by 400 votes.

"This time I'm trying again," said Mr. Fleischmann. "Hopefully, the third time is a charm."

The deadline for filing candidacy notices with the elections office is July 5, 1994.

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