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Circuit Court Judge Candidates Spar at Forum

It was a lively, contentious debate. The sparks flew regularly during the first debate of the 2012 General Election season between St. Mary's circuit court judge candidates Judge David Densford and Assistant State’s Attorney Joseph Stanalonis.

During the League of Women Voters forum Tuesday at Great Mills High School, Stanalonis admitted that he is under investigation by the Maryland Attorney Grievance Committee. He charged the complaint to the committee was politically motivated and that his accuser has not been revealed. Densford said neither he nor any of his campaign committee was responsible.

The complaint of misconduct is apparently fall-out from an opinion released August 6 by the Maryland Judicial Campaign Conduct Committee (MDJCCC) that Stanalonis violated standards of conduct in contested judicial elections. In its decision, the committee found that six elements contained in materials disseminated by the Stanalonis campaign violated Standards II (Impartiality), III (Truthfulness and Dignity) and VII (Financial Contributions) of the MDJCCC Standards of Conduct for Contested Judicial Elections.

The following is the original the Bay Net story about the August 6 panel release: http://www.thebaynet.com/news/index.cfm/fa/viewstory/story_ID/28933

A Maryland Attorney Grievance Committee review could have more serious consequences that the MDJCCC opinion, which is advisory. The ultimate worst-case outcome of a committee review could be disbarment by the Maryland Court of Appeals, which receives the committee’s investigation and has authority to act on it. See the Maryland Attorney Grievance Committee website for more information: http://www.courts.state.md.us/attygrievance/overview.html

The forum format included opening and closing statements and written questions from the audience. Stanalonis, in response to a question about why he

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