Gov. Parris N. Glendening named two assistant state's attorneys - one an Asian-American, the other an openly gay woman - as judges to the Baltimore City District Court yesterday, saying the appointments are "breaking down barriers."
Jeannie Hong will become the first Asian-American judge in Maryland history, and Halee Weinstein becomes one of the state's few openly gay judges.
They fill the vacancies created on the city bench by the retirements of Teaette S. Price and John P. Miller.
"This is an historic occasion as we continue our commitment to ensure that the Maryland judiciary is truly representative of the people it serves," Glendening said in a prepared statement. "The strength of Maryland is its diversity, and with these two appointments we are celebrating that diversity and breaking down barriers. I am confident Ms. Hong and Ms. Weinstein ... will make Maryland a more fair, just and inclusive to live."
Hong, 36, a Korean-American, heads the Vehicle Analysis Network in the state's attorney's office, and is the office expert on prosecuting carjacking cases.
Weinstein, 40, assistant division chief at the state's attorney's Charging Division, formerly specialized in domestic violence prosecutions.
Hong, who joined the state's attorney's office in 1994, has litigated cases in the district, juvenile, misdemeanor and felony divisions of the office. She began her legal career in 1993 as a staff attorney for the Maryland Department of Human Resources/Child Care Administration.
Hong is married to Michael Shaw, an attorney, and they have two young children. She was born in Seoul, South Korea, and became a U.S. citizen in October 1977.
Weinstein began her law career as a law clerk for Judge Elsbeth Bothe on the Circuit Court for Baltimore City. Before joining the state's attorney's office in 1991, Weinstein worked for a private law firm.
She also served as a military intelligence officer in the Army from 1984 to 1986. She attained the rank of second lieutenant and was honorably discharged.
Weinstein's domestic partner is Shannon Avery, an assistant attorney general in the Maryland Office of the Attorney General. They have two young children.