March 31, 2023
Annapolis, US 42 F

Circuit Court: It’s not what you know, but who you know

Laura Neuman Divor ceIn Anne Arundel County, there is no shortage of things that make one go “hmmmm?” The latest one…the divorce records of the County Executive.

Earlier today, The Capital published a story about the unsealing of the divorce records of Anne Arundel County Executive Laura Neuman. And while I agree that the invasion into a personal tragedy (any divorce is a tragedy) is unnecessary, The Capital missed a giant red flag.

According to the public records online, Neuman’s estranged husband filed for divorce on April 24, 2014. Yet the case was sealed by Judge William Mulford II on April 1, 2014–nearly one month before the case was even filed.

Now Neuman admits that she has been separated for more than a year and an impending filing was not a surprise to anyone. However, it does beg the question, why does someone proactively move to have a non-existent case sealed?  More so, why was it allowed to be sealed at all?  It is not everyone that can have their cases sealed; especially before they are filed!

Neuman has admirably run the office of County Executive on the up-and up. She campaigns on and demands transparency.  Several former staffers including a Chief of Staff and a Police Chief are no longer employed because of behavior inconsistent with that of her administration. If the power of her office was used, it seems very much the opposite of what she, and her administration preaches.

Neuman has done a very effective job in bringing the County into the 21st century technology wise, and has restored a lot of the faith in County government that was lost when John R. Leopold was County Executive.

But this type of scenario is not unique to the County Executive; and in fact, it may be a standard operating procedure in the Circuit Court depending on who you know

In August of 2012 we reported about an Arnold man who was seeking access to Judge Pamela North’s personal divorce records. He felt that her case may have prejudiced her decisions in his own case. He attempted to sue the Clerk of the Circuit Court, Robert Duckworth, for the records, but that was also turned down. Judge North’s case does not appear to exist in online records.

An old adage says that “it is not what you know, but who you know.” Apparently this holds very true in the hallways of the Anne Arundel County Circuit Court in Annapolis.

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