New Appointments Announced in the Fourth Judicial Circuit
(ANNAPOLIS, MD — July 10, 2008) Several judicial appointments have been made in the Fourth Judicial Circuit encompassing Allegany, Garrett and Washington counties, Chief Judge Robert M. Bell of the Maryland Court of Appeals announced today.
“The timing of these appointments is a testament to the leadership of Washington County Circuit Judge Frederick C. Wright, III, who, until June 26, 2008, had been the circuit administrative judge for the past 23 years, since 1985,” Judge Bell said.
“Aware of his impending retirement and after its announcement, Judge Wright stepped down early as circuit administrative judge in order to assure continuity of leadership. This was possible because of the strong leadership and the wealth of experience within the Fourth Judicial Circuit,” Judge Bell said.
Before joining the bench, Judge Wright, who has also been serving as county administrative judge in Washington County since 1985, was a member of the Maryland House of Delegates from 1966-71 and was speaker pro tem in 1971. He received his law degree from the University of Virginia Law School in 1963.
Allegany County Circuit Judge Gary G. Leasure, county administrative judge, assumed additional duties when he was appointed circuit administrative judge for the Fourth Judicial Circuit, effective June 26. He has served as associate judge in Allegany County since 1983. Prior to joining the bench, Judge Leasure was city attorney for the City of Frostburg from 1975-78 and assistant county attorney for Allegany County from 1977-82. He received his law degree from the University of Maryland in 1973.
Judge Leasure replaces Judge Wright, who will continue to serve as county administrative judge for Washington County until July 31.
In addition, Washington County Circuit Judge John H. McDowell has been appointed to serve as county administrative judge, effective August 1. Judge McDowell has served as an associate judge in Washington County Circuit Court since 1993. He was appointed as a U.S. magistrate judge for Western Maryland in 1989. He received his law degree from the University of Tennessee School of Law in 1976, and prior to joining the bench, served as director of the Washington County Criminal Defense Bar Association.
The circuit administrative judge is responsible for the administration of the courts within the judicial circuit, along with the supervision of the county administrative judges. The circuit administrative judge may also perform any of the county administrative judge’s duties.
County administrative judges are responsible for the administration of the court for the county. They are also responsible for the supervision of all judges, officers, and employees of the court; the expeditious disposition of cases; control of the trial calendar; and oversight of the court’s budget and procurement functions.
For more information, contact the Court Information Office at (410) 260-1488.