Worcester County State’s Attorney appointed judge, amid pending lawsuit
Beau Oglesby is set to become the next Circuit Court judge in Worcester County, but his alleged actions as a State's Attorney may end up following him to the bench.
That's because Oglesby's office is still facing a racial misconduct lawsuit brought against it three years ago regarding the treatment of three former Pocomoke police officers, most notably former chief Kelvin Sewell.
But the lawsuit isn't a concern for Gov. Larry Hogan, his office releasing this statement to 47 ABC:
"A federal judge has dismissed the charges specific to Mr. Oglesby in the case. The Judicial Nominating Commission, which is responsible for vetting potential judges, approved and recommended this candidate, and he has the nearly unanimous support of elected officials from both parties on the Eastern Shore, as well as bipartisan support from prosecutors and law enforcement officials across the state."
Despite that, an attorney we spoke to says in general appointing someone in a situation like Ogelsby's could be problematic.
"If the allegations are serious enough then I would think a promotion would be a little bit of a risky proposition because if the allegations are in fact proved then that could directly impact the person promoted," says Luke Rommel, an attorney with Rommel & Associates Inc.
In situations like this though, Rommel says it matters more who is named in the lawsuit.
"If they're frivolous allegations, if they're allegations that don't directly aren't casually connected to that particular person, maybe if it's just institutional or department wise, not reflecting upon him then I think that would affect it as well," Rommel adds.
47 ABC reached out to Beau Oglesby Tuesday for a comment, but he hasn't gotten back to us yet.
Below is a sampling from the governor's office of officials from across the state who wrote letters of support for Oglesby's appointment:
Emmett Davitt, State Prosecutor
Scott Shellenberger, Baltimore County State’s Attorney
J. Charles Smith III, Frederick County State’s Attorney
Jonathan G. Newell, Administrative Judge for Caroline County
John Dale Smack III, Former Worcester County Orphan’s Court Chief Judge and Parole Commissioner