Gov. Lawrence J. Hogan Jr. (R) announced Friday that he has appointed Charlton T. Howard III to serve as state prosecutor.
Howard will head the office that investigates and prosecutes state-level political corruption. He’ll replace Emmet C. Davitt, who held the job for nine years before retiring this summer.
“The Office of State Prosecutor is essential to ensuring honesty and transparency in government,” said Hogan said in a statement. “I have every confidence in Mr. Howard’s abilities to root out corruption and serve as a strong advocate for the people of Maryland.”
Howard has served as an assistant attorney general since 2015, overseeing more than 60 attorneys handling civil and criminal child support litigation. He previously worked as an assistant state’s attorney in Baltimore City, handling felony prosecutions in Circuit Court and trying repeat offenders and major gang cases. He spent 22 years of his career working for Naval Criminal Investigative Service.
Howard graduated from the University of Maryland School of Law. He is a 1980 graduate of the United States Naval Academy, and served in the Marine Corps, as well as the Marine Corps Reserve. He also clerked for a United States Court of Appeals judge.
The Baltimore Brew reported earlier this week that Howard and Michael J. Dunty, a violent crimes prosecutor in Baltimore City, were the finalists for the job. The article quoted some legal experts suggesting that neither had much experience prosecuting white collar cases, which makes up the bulk of the State Prosecutor’s office work — and wondering why the State Prosecutor Selection & Disabilities Commission made so few recommendations for the job.
Established in 1977, the office is based in Towson and has a modest-sized staff — including seven investigators and three prosecutors.