Gov. Larry Hogan appointed Charlton Howard III, an assistant attorney general, as the new Maryland state prosecutor on Friday.
Howard, who has been with the Maryland Office of the Attorney General since 2015, currently oversees more than 60 attorneys handling criminal and civil child support litigation, according to a news release. He previously worked as a prosecutor in Baltimore city and spent 22 years with the Naval Criminal Investigative Service.
“The Office of State Prosecutor is essential to ensuring honesty and transparency in government,” 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.”
The Office of the State Prosecutor is charged with investigating corruption, election law violations and misconduct by public officials and employees. Emmet Davitt retired as state prosecutor at the end of July after more than eight years in the role.
The State Prosecutor Selection and Disabilities Commission began working in August to select nominees to fill the vacancy and sent Howard’s name, along with that of Baltimore prosecutor Michael Dunty, to Hogan on Oct. 11. Hogan had 30 days to appoint a nominee.
Attorney General Brian E. Frosh, who served on the commission, said Friday that three members of his office had applied for the position and that he discussed with the other members whether he needed to recuse himself but ultimately decided he had a legal obligation to provide input.
“I had a conflict of interest with respect to each one of the three, especially Chuck Howard, because him going to be state prosecutor hurts our office,” he said. “I didn’t want to lose him, and I told everybody that.”
Frosh called Howard “a very good lawyer” and said he has performed tasks similar to the ones he will be charged with as state prosecutor, from prosecuting cases to managing large and complex investigations.
“He’s a very nice guy,” he said. “I think he’s exactly what you would want as a state prosecutor. He’s smart, experienced, tough and independent.”
Howard was not immediately available for comment Friday.