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Nine apply to replace Weathersbee as Arundel state's attorney

Nine people have applied to be the next state's attorney for Anne Arundel County, according to a news release from the county's Circuit Court.

Frank R. Weathersbee is retiring effective June 11 to accept a gubernatorial appointment to the state Parole Commission. The county's Circuit Court judges will select a replacement to serve the remainder of Weathersbee's term, which expires in 2014.

Weathersbee has said he would like to see his deputy Thomas J. Fleckenstein replace him, drawing fire from county Republicans, who have alleged he is "interfering" in the judges' decision.

"The State's Attorney's efforts to skirt not only the democratic process, but also a fair appointment process, are nothing but 'inside baseball' politics at their worst," Alan Rzepkowski, chairman of the Republican State Central Committee of Anne Arundel County, said last month in an email to a Sun reporter. "If he is unable to fulfill his commitment to the voters who elected him, he should at least serve them one last time by not interfering in an otherwise impartial process to select the best possible replacement."

Weathersbee, who has been state's attorney since 1988, said it was "ludicrous" to suggest he could control the judges' decision and called Rzepkowski's remarks "shameful."

"Politics or party have never factored into any decision I have ever made as State's Attorney," Weathersbee told The Sun in a written response. "I have never asked a job applicant or anyone I've promoted to leadership positions within the office what his or her political party is."

In addition to Fleckenstein, the others who have applied to replace Weathersbee are Edward Wesley Adams, David W. Fischer, Jonathan A. Hodgson, Anne Colt Leitess, David N. Mabrey, Kathleen E. Rogers, Richard A. Simmons and Richard R. Trunnell.

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