Friday, December 31, 2010

Some Major Changes In Worcester County Court System

The court system in Worcester County saw a couple of major changes this week, with the top deputy prosecutor departing and a new judge appointed to fill the vacancy created by the retirement of Circuit Court Judge Theodore Eschenburg earlier this year.

Brian Shockley, 45, a partner in the Ocean City law firm, Williams, Moore, Shockley, Harrison, was named to the bench Wednesday by Gov. Martin O’Malley. Shockley earned his law degree from the University of Maryland in 1992 and practiced in Towson before returning to Ocean City in 1995 and joining his father, attorney Raymond Shockley, a partner in the firm. The younger Shockley made partner in 2000.

During his time there, he also served as an assistant state’s attorney from 1995- 1998. He also serves on the board of directors of the Community Foundation of the Eastern Shore, Peninsula Regional Medical Center and Worcester County GOLD.

Meanwhile, a candidate for the position Shockley will now fill will be moving to the area full-time anyway, following the dismissal of Deputy State’s Attorney Mike Farlow.

Three days before Christmas, new State’s Attorney Beau Oglesby, who will be sworn in Monday, left a voice mail for Farlow, who was helping the Wicomico County State’s Attorney’s Office in Salisbury. Farlow then left a voice mail for Oglesby, who called him later in the day at his home to ask him to meet at the Worcester County State’s Attorney’s Office in Snow Hill.

There, in a brief meeting, Oglesby told Farlow he was taking the office is a new direction and that Farlow, who had been with the State’s Attorney’s Office since October 2003, was not part of that plan.

“He’s got every right,” Farlow said Wednesday, although he said he was somewhat surprised at the timing. A few weeks ago, Oglesby met with all of the attorneys working under State’s Attorney Joel Todd and said he would not make any changes for four to six months.

“I figured I had a few extra months,” said Farlow, who surmises Oglesby may have perceived him as a potential challenger in the 2014 election.

“At this time, I’m not going to discuss personnel matters,” Oglesby said. He added that once he is sworn in he would be willing to talk publicly about the changes he has made and plans to make to the office.

To replace Farlow, Oglesby is expected to bring in Cheryl Jacobs, who has worked as an assistant state’s attorney in Baltimore. Jacobs, who has a house in Ocean Pines, had also applied for the local judgeship.

Farlow was expected to prosecute Justin Hadel, who goes on trial in February for the murder of Christine Sheddy.

Lynn Dodenhoff, Sheddy’s mother, was distressed to learn Wednesday that Oglesby terminated Farlow. She had expected Farlow to work on the prosecution of Justin Hadel, the man charged with murdering her daughter. His trial is scheduled for Feb. 8-10.

“I am shocked and surprised. Mr. Oglesby recently assured me that he would not make any changes in the staff before my daughter’s case goes to trial in February,” she said.

by:Nancy Powell


Anonymous said...

I'm sure Beau Oglesby knows what he is doing and making these changes for the good of the county.

Anonymous said...

I'm not quite certain about that. Why bring in someone completely unfamiliar with a murder case that goes to trial in one month? Something isn't adding up to me. But when Oglesby didn't show to any of Pocomoke's community awareness meetings, that spoke loud volumes to me. Also, what interest would these individuals from Baltimore have with Worcester County? Time will tell.

Anonymous said...

Is this the same law office that was acused of allegedly attempting to steal a patent, false securities and involved with that RICO case brought against several in Worcester County?

Google RICO and Worcester County.

Anonymous said...

Maybe Beau's listening to his constiuency, those who voted for him? Beau's victory had alot to do with the dissatisfaction of the people of the circuit court system. Too many last minute pleas after a jury and witnesses were dragged to Snow Hill, at I might add a great expense to the taxpayers for the jury. Stories like this were common during the election season.

Anonymous said...

ANon 3:36 what spoke even louder volumes was the fact that no politicans showed up at the awareness meetings UNTIL it was election time. Many are not living under a rock and could see right thru that sudden interest in Pocomoke! It had nothing to do with crime but all to do with "look at me, I want to do something about the crime" in other words "vote for me."

Anonymous said...

With all due respect to Lynn Dodenhoff why should Beau personally call her and tell her ahead of time of his decision to replace Mike Farlow?
The last conversation between them, Lynn couldn't wait to post (Anon no less) on JT's site what was supposedly said that being that Beau was not going to make any changes to staff for atleast 6 months.

jmmb said...

This all seems rather rediculous to me. Beau Oglesby won the election fair and square! He has kept his views to himself and has not been very vocal at all towards the way he sees things in Worcester County.

And guess what!? He doesn't have to tell anyone anything! He can even change his mind. Let's not judge him YET.

Why not be adults and clear thinking human beings and let him do his job! Maybe he selected someone from the Baltimore area because he found the staff that is there now to be incopetent.

I remind you that Joel Todd did not drop from the sky many years ago and become the State's Attorney. He made his mistakes along the way I'm sure.

Oglesby will be sworn in on Monday........I am sure after that time we will all know what he plans to do.

I'm looking forward to Oglesby serving Worcester County.

Anonymous said...

Amem jmmb! Next thing you know the goofballs will all start saying this is Mike McDermott's fault!