Alexandra N. "Sandy" Williams, a Baltimore County assistant state's attorney for 15 years, has been named to the District Court bench by Gov. William Donald Schaefer.
Mrs. Williams will succeed John C. Coolahan, who retired from Baltimore County District Court in May to seek the Democratic nomination for county executive in the Sept. 13 primary.
Mrs. Williams, 38, a graduate of Denison University in Ohio, earned her law degree from the University of Baltimore Law School. She became an assistant state's attorney in 1979, and was promoted to District Court division chief in 1990.
In January, State's Attorney Sandra A. O'Connor announced that Mrs. Williams would be one of two prosecutors to head a family violence unit. The unit was set up to work with the police to compile evidence and screen serious incidents that could be prosecuted as felonies -- such as attempted murder -- even when the battered spouse declined to cooperate.
Mrs. Williams, who lives in Phoenix with her husband and two children, will begin her 10-year District Court term, at $84,800 a year, within a month. The appointment is subject to confirmation by the state Senate at its next session beginning in January.
"This is a tremendous honor, and I'm looking forward to it," Mrs. Williams said. "It might sound corny, but I want to serve the people."
Mr. Coolahan, 61, a former state delegate and state senator, became a a District Court judge in 1989. This will be his second try for executive. He ran in 1978 but finished second behind the Democratic nominee, Donald P. Hutchinson, who went on to be elected.