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Judges of Orphans Court discuss Register of Wills post

August 19th, 2017 by WCBC Radio

The Judges of Orphans Court met in session Friday morning, and for the first time publicly outlined the process they will use in naming a replacement for the vacant Allegany County Register of Wills seat. It was a low key setting, with WCBC Radio the only media in attendance at the session.  Rebecca Drew, facing charges of misconduct in office, resigned on Tuesday- and the responsibility for selecting her replacement falls on Chief Judge Donna May and Judge Ed Crossland. The third judge, Billie Gilpin, retired last week for health reasons. Speaking during the Friday session, Crossland declined to offer many specifics saying only that they received more than half a dozen letters of interest prior to Thursday’s deadline- and he said they would not be releasing the names of those who have applied. Crossland said In researching filling register of wills vacancies statewide, he found this is a completely unique set of circumstances- as most of the vacancies are filled by the deputy register.  That won’t be possible in this case as the deputy, and current interim Craig “Tom” Rankin resides in Garrett County- and the seat requires county residency.  Crossland said its too early to determine a timeline for naming a replacement, as he said the most important thing is to make the right selection to take over an office he described as having been in a state of “disarray” in recent months.  Although the names of candidates won’t be released, WCBC News has confirmed three of the candidates as Delegate Mike Mckay; Assistant States Attorney Erich Bean and former city councilmember Mary Beth Pirolozzi.  Speculation has also centered on former Sheriff David Goad and the  former Mayor of Midland Craig Alexander. As far as replacing Judge Gilpin, Crossland said that appointment is made by the governor with no input or recommendations from the other judges. 

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