Hennessy was one of 12 applicants for the judgeship. In October, the judicial nominating commission in Charles County sent the names of four of those candidates to the governor for possible appointment. Hennessy's name was not among them.
Soon after the list was made public, said judicial appointment secretary Larry Hogan, several people called to express their displeasure that Hennessy's name was missing.
W. Louis Hennessy is the newest judge on the District Court for Charles County. He has led the D.C. police homicide squad, been a criminal defense lawyer and served in the House of Delegates.
(Rafael Crisostomo For The Washington Post)
"There was a lot of concern from people throughout the community that Lou Hennessy . . . was not considered, and they thought that something was wrong with the process," Hogan said. "There was an uproar all over the county."
In short order, the commission responded.
Citing a confusion in the number of candidates they were supposed to submit, members of the nominating panel resubmitted a new list of nominees, which this time included Hennessy. It didn't take long for the governor's office to appoint Hennessy to the bench.
"I think the governor was most impressed by him," Hogan said. "His law enforcement background in particular made the governor think that he would make a good judge."
Hennessy has lived in La Plata since 1990.
He and his wife, Loraine, have been married 18 years. They have four children -- three boys, ages 6, 8 and 10, and a 12-year-old daughter.
In a life of multiple careers -- police officer, lawyer, legislator, judge -- Hennessy is not ready to say that he will give up looking at new possibilities.
"I don't know," Hennessy said, when asked about whether he might one day run for public office. "I'm not closing the door on anything."