Glendening fills four court vacancies; Caroline, Carroll, Harford appointments announced


Gov. Parris N. Glendening announced yesterday four appointments to fill vacancies on the Circuit and District Courts in Caroline, Carroll and Harford counties.

In Harford County, District Court Judge Emory A. Plitt was elevated to Circuit Court, and Mimi Cooper was appointed to District Court, the first woman named to the bench in that subdivision, according to Glendening's announcement.

The governor also appointed Damian Halstad, president of the Westminster City Council, to the Carroll County Circuit Court and Karen Murphy Jensen to the Caroline County Circuit Court.

Plitt, 56, has been a District Court judge since 1993 and administrative judge since 1995.

He has developed programs to protect domestic violence victims and crack down on drug offenses.

Plitt has served as Harford County Attorney and assistant state attorney general and legal counsel to the Maryland Department of Public Safety and Correctional Services and the state police.

He succeeds Judge Cypert O. Whitfill.

Cooper has been a prosecutor in the Harford County State's Attorney's Office since 1995. Previously, she held a similar position in Baltimore City.

Cooper, 37, succeeds Judge Lawrence S. Lanahan Jr.

Halstad, a member of the Westminster City Council since 1993, is a partner in the law firm of Hoffman, Comfort, Galloway and Offutt. He has served on several state and local boards. His wife, Leigh, is an assistant state attorney general.

The 38-year-old Halstad succeeds Judge Francis M. Arnold.

In Caroline County, Jensen was named to succeed Judge James Owen Wise.

She is the first woman to be appointed to the bench in Caroline County, according to the governor's announcement.

Jensen, 44, has been an attorney in private practice since 1987.

She also has served in the public sector as town attorney for Denton and Federalsburg and has been a legal adviser to various public boards and commissions.

Jensen's husband, Christian, is state's attorney for Caroline County, and her father is Robert C. Murphy, retired chief judge of the Maryland Court of Appeals.

Pub Date: 10/14/99

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