Gov. Larry Hogan spent nearly three hours at Anne Arundel County Circuit Court in Annapolis for jury duty on Wednesday morning, but he was not selected for a trial.
The governor was all smiles when he arrived at the courthouse at 8 a.m., and when he left at 10:50 a.m., he was a bit relieved that he did not end up serving on a jury.
“I’m not disappointed. I’ve got normal work to do,” Hogan said, as he walked from the courthouse back to the State House complex.
He was, however, pleased to have pocketed $15 in cash – the standard pay for potential jurors in Anne Arundel. “First time I’ve made money in a long time,” he said.
At about 10:30 a.m., Hogan took a break and stepped out into the hallway, where he chatted and took pictures with women at the information desk. Two groups of potential jurors had been taken to courtrooms for further questioning at that point, but not Hogan.
The governor and scores of other jurors were released shortly after that.
While passing the time waiting, Hogan said he had been talking with his fellow potential jurors. He said several people told him that they appreciated his moves to lower toll rates.
"We've taken selfies and pictures with most of the people ... at least I'm entertaining everybody," Hogan said.
Hogan joked: “I was ready to run a campaign for jury foreman.”
Hogan also took pictures with bailiffs and talked with Clerk of the Court Robert Duckworth and State's Attorney Wes Adams, both fellow Republicans. Adams took Hogan on a tour of his office, where Hogan said he shook hands with all of the assistant state's attorneys. The governor joked that he hoped meeting the assistant state's attorneys wouldn't disqualify him from serving on a jury.
More seriously, though, Hogan noted he had a hand in appointing many judges when he was appointments secretary under former Gov. Robert L. Ehrlich Jr., which might be a concern for attorneys.
Hogan said he was excited to be called for jury duty, but he had mixed thoughts on actually serving on a jury.
On one hand, he said he hoped for an interesting trial to perform his civic duty. But on the other hand, he'd have to reschedule appointments. At one point in the morning, he was looking at having to postpone a noon tour of the former steel mill at Sparrows Point in Baltimore County – though once he was released from jury service, Hogan said he thought he would make the tour after all.
For Hogan, this was his first time ever being called to jury duty. He's lived in Anne Arundel County for nearly 20 years and lived in Prince George's County before that.
"I'm amazed I'm 57 and I've never been called," he said.
Hogan was initially called to jury duty on Jan. 21, but received a deferral because he already had important plans — that was the day he was sworn in as governor.
"Today is my make-up day," Hogan said.
As he entered the courthouse, Hogan said he was happy to participate in the judicial process: "It's my civic duty. It's an honor to do it," he said.
Hogan was accompanied in the courthouse by state troopers who are part of his executive protection detail.