A state committee tasked with nominating potential replacements for a vacant Harford County Circuit Court judicial vacancy passed over State’s Attorney Joe Cassilly last week, instead nominating a district court judge, Cecil County’s Deputy State’s Attorney, and three assistant state’s attorneys who work for Cassilly.
On Thursday, a Judicial Nominating Committee narrowed the list of 11 people seeking appointment by Governor Martin O’Malley to replace retiring Harford County Circuit Court Judge Thomas E. Marshall down to just five nominees.
Among those five nominees are Melba Elizabeth Bowen, Melissa Lazarich Lambert, and Diane Adkins Tobin – each of whom is a Harford County Assistant State’s Attorney working directly for Cassilly. The other two nominees are Maryland District Court Judge Victor Kuras Butanis and Deputy Cecil County State’s Attorney and chief homicide prosecutor Kerwin Anthony Miller, Sr.
Contacted Tuesday and asked for his reaction to being passed over for judicial nomination, Cassilly said, “I can say that I was disappointed, but God obviously has other plans.”
In September, prior to his uncontested re-election to an 8th term, Cassilly told The Dagger, “I am one of the lowest paid [state’s attorney’s] in Maryland with an insane job nobody else in their right mind wants.”
Cassilly has also said he did not intend to seek a 9th term as Harford County’s State’s Attorney.
The other five candidates who were under consideration for nomination and appointment included:
– Hiram Edward Andrews, III, Bel Air general criminal practice, personal injury, family law attorney
– Margaret Ada Attanasio, Bel Air family law attorney, former Harford County People’s Counsel
– Michael Hugh Andrew Daney, Harford County Associate Zoning Hearing Examiner
– Harold Scott Lewis, Bel Air attorney
– Damon Arthur Pace, Bel Air criminal and traffic attorney
The Nominating Commission met to interview each candidate and voted on which names would be forwarded to the O’Malley as nominees. The governor will choose which of the five nominees will become Harford County’s next Circuit Court judge.
Mommie Dearest says
Any speculation as to why Mr. Cassilly was not nominated? I’m assuming it’s politically motivated which is a shame. How can 3 of Mr. Cassilly’s subordinates be nominated, when they have basically become the attorneys that they are under his tutelage? What a low blow to someone who has served out county so well. And please, the guy who always writes about how corrupt Mr. Tabone, Mr. Cassilly and Deputy Marston are, do not reply to this posting.
Wow, you guys are lucky I was out of town. I get back and see this trash calling out the voice of sanity! Anyway, for the words you all have been waitin for…….In an independent study of the arrests made by Sean Marston of the Harford County Narcotics Task Force in 2010, a stunning 65% of the arrests were African American. In the course of the same study it was determined that all his cases were prosecuted by Christopher Tabone of the Harford County State’s Attorney Office, who accompanied them in all the raids, wearing a Harford County Narcotics Task Force police badge. During the same study, Mr. Tabone’s recommended bail bond amounts to the Harford County Circuit Court, were 75% higher than the recommended bonds for caucasion offenders of the same offenses. The Honorable Judge Angela Eaves, kept these bonds the same even though she is african american herself, as she was the bail review judge for each of these cases. Even more stunning is the fact that a Maryland State Police Officer who was named in a 2005 Racial Profiling Lawsuit by the ACLU, a Mr. Paul J. Quill, accompanied the raid team on each expedition. Even though the outcome for some of these cases have yet to be finalized, the majority of the sentences handed down to black offenders are greater than the white offenders. This is racism disguised as justice and can only be described as persecution of African Americans in Harford County.
Paul Mc says
“Wow, you guys are lucky I was out of town. I get back and see this trash calling out the voice of sanity! Anyway, for the words you all have been waitin for…….” – Glad you are back.
“In an independent study” – Who conducted this?
“of the arrests made by Sean Marston of the Harford County Narcotics Task Force in 2010, a stunning 65% of the arrests were African American.” – That in itself does not indicate racism. Now, if the study showed that the amount of arrests was disproportionate to the percent of crimes committed by African Americans, that would be racism.
“In the course of the same study” – I would love to see this study.
“it was determined that all his cases were prosecuted by Christopher Tabone of the Harford County State’s Attorney Office, who accompanied them in all the raids, wearing a Harford County Narcotics Task Force police badge.” – It is typical for a prosecutor to focus on a certain type of crime. So, this is not racism.
“During the same study,” – Again, where is the study…
“Mr. Tabone’s recommended bail bond amounts to the Harford County Circuit Court, were 75% higher than the recommended bonds for caucasion offenders of the same offenses.” – You do realize that numerous factors are used to determine bail, such as:1) Offense, penalties, evidence, 2)Prior record and history of appearance before court, 3)Family ties, employment history, finances, character, mental condition, length of residence in community, 4) Recommendation of pre-trial release agency, 5)States Attorney recommendation, 6)Information presented by defense counsel or defendant, 7)Danger of defendant to victim, other people, or community, 8)Danger to defendant, 9)Any other factors bearing on appearance and safety.
“The Honorable Judge Angela Eaves, kept these bonds the same even though she is African American herself, as she was the bail review judge for each of these cases.” – Good for her.
“Even more stunning is the fact that a Maryland State Police Officer who was named in a 2005 Racial Profiling Lawsuit by the ACLU, a Mr. Paul J. Quill, accompanied the raid team on each expedition.” – How is this stunning? Police are supposed to do this.
“Even though the outcome for some of these cases have yet to be finalized, the majority of the sentences handed down to black offenders are greater than the white offenders.” – You do realize that the numerous factors are used to determine the sentence of a convicted criminal, such as:prior criminal history, contrition, mandatory sentences, etc.
“This is racism disguised as justice and can only be described as persecution of African Americans in Harford County.” – Or, its not racism and you are attempting to make it look as such.
Anyways, have a nice day.
Marston arrested 65% black, Tabones recommended bonds where 75% higher for blacks for the same offenses, Eaves held them all the same even though she knew the blacks couldn’t afford freedom yet the whites could, Marston had his buddy racist Paul Quill along for the ride so he could knock that dark chip off his shoulder and I am done proving my point to a bunch of racist hillbilly republicans that want to send us all back to baltimore so they can get armed forces personnel from BRAC to replace the community that exists. What are you fools gonna say when you find out that the majority of BRAC personnel coming are minorities. Guess you’ll have to get Cassilly to use his pull with the military to send only white people to Edgewood/Aberdeen. Funny, Cassillys injuries, not wounds in vietnam, were caused by his own misjudgement. The same misjudgement which he still uses to provide false wiretap charges on innocent motorcycle riders while his own office is using illegal wiretaps to prosecute more blacks. He don’t want you to talk about that!
King of common sense says
I work every day in the Harford County courts and have had the opportunity to witness many of these candidates in action every day. Of Joe’s suboordinates, Diane Tobin is leaps and bounds ahead of her co-workers. She has been prosecuting Harford County’s sex offenders successfully and ensuring that they get the lengthy sentences they deserve. I’m not sure what the other two had to offer that got them to the next round. As for Joe himself, there could be political motives behind him being passed over but it could be simpler than that. He is already 61 years old and because of an injury sustained serving this country, he has limited mobility that will worsen with age. The board as well as the governor probably want to select someone that will hold the position for a long time. I’m more curious as to why Deputy States Attorney H. Scott Lewis was passed over.
JOPPATOWNE RESIDENT says
The Americans with Disabilities Act is supposed to protect people like Mr. Cassilly from the type of discrimination you are suggesting. Passing him over just because his disability may or may not keep him in a particular position very long is no reason to pass him over. Shame on the power’s that be if that’s why he wasn’t nominated for this position.
King of common sense says
You should go back and re-read the ADA legislation. You seem to be suggesting that if someone came in for an interview and told you that they were going to die that afternoon that you would still have to give them equal consideration for a job. I have every bit of respect for what Joe has done for this country and I have witnessed hours of his prosecutorial ability but I am intelligent enough to understand why a committee would want a younger/healthier person in a job that has such an extensive hiring process.
I didn’t have much of an opinion upon reading the headline regarding Mr. Casssilly’s name not being among the list of nominees for Judicial appointment as I read recently that Mr. Cassilly wasn’t going to run for reelection and I assumed he planned to retire. After all, he has been our State’s Attorney for a very long time, has served the citizens of Harford County well and faithfully for years and has earned a break. But then I read that Mr. Cassilly is disappointed at being passed over and that strikes me as wrong! I see no one more qualified. How did this come to be? Mr. Cassilly would make an excellent judge. The list needs revision.
Edmund Picard says
I may not have agreed with every decision Mr. Cassilly has made, but I feel he has served honestly and honorably as the State’s Attorney of Harford County. I believe the citizens have fared well with him in office and thus I believe he would have made a very well experienced judge. What a pity petty politics play such a role in our lives. I would hope Mr. Cassilly decides to run again for State’s Attorney and the citizens reap the benefit’s of Mr. O’Malley’s vindictiveness.
There was no political motivation for Cassilly not being a finalist. Allegations of racism in the SA office and violations of due process could be factors that contributed to the Governor’s decision. You just don’t get the conviction statistics that Harford County has without something abusive and underhanded going on. You can’t have defendants being jailed for over a year without a trial and still claim to be following the law. But, the national attention that the Anthony Graber wiretapping case brought was probably the final nail in the coffin for Cassilly’s bid to be a Circuit Court Judge. That was a senseless prosecution that benefitted no one but the police and took the ACLU to be present just to get a fair verdict. Joseph Cassilly has no one to blame but himself for this snubbing. I think it was the right call and a small victory for liberty and justice in Harford County. Change is in the air and you can feel it. Bring on the elections…….
angry voter says
You can’t be serious? The ACLU and racism in Harford County. I have been in court and seen, firsthand, that the SA is doing his job. The only reason racism is brought up is because that is one way to explain away the crimes that some people committ. Mr Cassilly has served his country in both the military and civilian side of society. The one problem I have with The Dagger is people can make comments and not put thier real name. The SA and police are out there protecting society and making sure the rule of law prevails. Yes there are some police that go to far, but the majority of police are honest and would take offense to your comments. Change is in the air and Mr Cassilly should run for election to the Circuit Court. This happened in Howard County and the people spoke and elected a judge that was not appointed by the Governor. The ACLU has some good points, but seems to be lost in the defense of individuals who claim racism and were caught committing the crime and don’t want to do the time!
@Angry Voter. I see you are part of the problem, or did your mother name you Angry!
angry voter says
@Retiredawhile. How can I be part of the problem? I see it over and over that people claim racism and then people are left shaking their heads. I may not agree with everything the SA says, but if Harford County is the problem…give solutions instead of claiming the whole system is going down the wrong road. I for one would vote for SA Cassilly for judge!
David A. Porter says
He was alluding to you not using your real name. Glad I could help you out with that lack of introspection and perception.
Thanks David for making that clear. I am sure Angry is someone who likes to make comments and then say, “Who Me”?
@ANGRY VOTER – Are you off your meds? I did not bash or even write anything inflamatory about the police. I said that the Graber incident did nothing for the public and only benefittedthe police. I never said Cassilly isor was a racist, only allegations of racism exist, moron. I did point out that the conviction rate is overwelming to the point of abusive and I did point out that being jailed for over a year without a trial is wrong. Its also illegal, with the proper motions being filed a trial should take place within 6 months so a defendant rights are not being abused. Personally, I feel that Cassilly has been too aggressive in prosecuting cases and his fledglings have been more abusive than he. Furthermore, the national public outcry in support of Anthony Graber lost Casssilly his bid, nothing else. The entire Graber prosection was malicious and pointless. As a democrat, I feel change in the air and can’t wait for the elections. If you don’t like my rationales then that is your opinion, but don’t act like my comments were offensive, especially to the police, whom I support in their endeavors.
Angry Voter says
@Asmadius- I have taken my meds today. I have read your reply and take some issue with your answers. First, I want to say is that you are a person with an opinion and it should be respected. Here are the issues that I see. The Graber case involved a motorcycle speeding on a public highway. Also, the plain cloths police officer “State Trooper” was attempting to stop SSgt Garber and finally stopped him at Rt 543 and I 95. SSgt Garber was using video recording device and no voice. Maryland has a strict law on recording individuals without consent. The Trooper drew his weapon to protect himself and not knowing the danger. This is what he did right. He had no clue if SSgt Garber had any weapon or was a threat to himself or the other public. People like to point to the police doing their job as excessive if an officer uses protective measures to protect himself. Also, the reason most people don’t have speedy trials is because of delays for lawyers and the defendant wants a postponement. Each time the defendant is brought into court and explained about his right to a speedy trial. The defendant has to waive his right to a speedy trial. Depending on the charge, the defendant is offered bail and a chance to get out. Why would SA Cassilly be labled as a aggressive attorney? Isn’t that his job? Finally, change is in the air and I sure hope Cassilly runs. The Garber case was a case of an ANG SSgt breaking the law and the police acting properly. The police are out there dealing with all types of people and the courts deal with the same people. When the general public runs away from the bad situation, it’s the police running towards the problem. Oh, the ACLU is not police friendly and took the case to stick it to the police. SSgt Garber was breaking the law and was arrested. I have spent time the military and know when someone is breaking the law. BTW did I call you a name in this reponse? Noppers.
@ANGRY VOTER – Let me refresh your memory. Yes, Graber broke the law by aggressively driving his motorcycle. Graber was arrested, he then posted the video of the police officer on YOU TUBE, Cassilly then charged him with wiretapping and a search and seizure warrant was issued for the man’s home and his computer confiscated. Charging him with wiretapping was abusive, malicious and publicly appalling. The search and seizure was ridiculous! Hey, you can say what you will, but the public opinion of Cassilly’s decisions regarding the excessive charge of wiretapping is what made his bid for judge end. Cassilly’s interpretation of the wiretapping laws was basically ludicrous. The judge ruled that an officer involved in a traffic stop on an open public highway has no expectancy of privacy. End of story, bad, bad Cassilly.
Angry Voter says
@Asmodius–We could go on all day about this issue, but I haven’t got time to prove my point over and over. Graber broke the law and Mr Cassilly went after him. I vote for people who are going to do the job. Why would I not want Mr Cassilly to go after someone WHO BROKE THE LAW!!!!!!! Do me a favor, don’t vote for Mr Cassilly, if he runs. That is what makes our country great.
Angry Voter says
What I meant to say was….America allows a person to not vote for someone they don’t like. You can vote for him and he would be a great judge!
So, what you are saying is that you think its alright to make up fictitious charges against someone if they break the law? That is what Cassilly did! Yes, Graber was aggressively driving, but that is all he did! The wiretapping was false, fictitious, a blatant lie! You can support a malicious prosecutor who lies to the court, the newspapers and to himself, but I will never support anyone who’s actions were as illegal as Cassilly’s. If it wasn’t for the fact that he is immune to prosecution and suit, because of his position as State’s Attorney for “OUT COUNTY”, he would have been disbarred for basically being totally incompetent and violating the Rules for Professional Conduct that any attorney in Maryland is supposed to abide by.
My prediction. Cassilly runs next year and wins the judgeship over the O’Malley appointee in a landslide..End of story..
HE HAS MY VOTE……….
I think the ACLU is the best thing since sliced bread. They fight for the rights of the average citizen. Take on the system and make sure everyone gets a fair shake of justice. Where else can you have this type of fine organization. I am sure all of them would make fine judges and should be appointed and elected to make sure people are held to a higher standard! BTW….I believe none of this….
Phil Dirt says
You had me worried until the very end. Well played!
John Hickey says
I agree that being able to post comments anonymously has allowed for too many insensitive posts that never would have happened had the authors been made to reveal themselves. From this point forward I shall post as John Hickey rather than the JH previously used. Feel free to review any of my previous postings. I stand by every word I have said. I suspect that there are more than a few who are unwilling to do the same and I think that should tell us something about those individuals and their opinions.
John Q.Public says
I think I shall change my postings to His Royal Highness John Q. Public. The Honorable Gentleman from the Great County of Harford. I shall want to be addressed as Your Excellency. I would do Your Right Honorable Friend, but that is taken by the British.
John Q.Public says
BTW, on a serious note, I think John Hickey has a good point. The previous post was just for fun. There are too many people, me included, that need to start thinking of serious matter.
Kenneth Pittman says
Clearly Mr. O’Malley’s standards for District Court judge differ from Mr. Cassilly’s qualifications. Case in point, The Honorable Judge Hazlett. Twenty years as an assistant prosecutor in Baltimore County. Mr. Cassilly, an estimated 34 years as The Chief Prosecutor in Harford County, go figure. Maybe having an R after your name makes a difference.
Don’t know about O’Malley’s standards, but Cassilly didn’t impress the nominating committee. Is Cassilly qualified…yes, but is he the best person for the position? Mr Cassilly’s judicial temperament is better suited as a prosecutor than that of a Judge. For that reason I concur with the nominating committee not forwarding Mr. Cassilly’s name.
David A. Porter says
It disturbs me the Committee approved of Judge Butanis. He certainly likes to get the “Pounds out the door” but at what cost to the exactness of the judgments rendered? How many of his cases end up in Circuit Court and will he be required to recues himself when some of them finally come back to haunt him? I know “haunt” is a useless word in this application, it would require someone to have remorse for doing a bad job in the first place.
Jack Branning says
@ Kennith Pittman – You do realize Hazlett is an “R” right? Just thought I would help you get that foot out your mouth so people can take your comments seriously. Everything can’t (and shouldn’t) be explained with “D” & “R”. Give me an Independent…this is a thinking person’s county…it doesn’t (and shouldn’t) belong to ANY party!
Kenneth Pittman says
I stand corrected if you are accurate in identifying Judge Hazlett’s party affiliation. How grand of Gov. O’Malley to have stepped outside his party and selected this judge. I wonder if the Democratic loyalists in Harford County are aware there are no suitable candidtates from their party for judge. Speaks volumes. Thanks for your input Jack, really thanks.