The Post incorrectly reported yesterday that Bond A. Holford, a Prince George's County domestic relations master, won a bar election earlier this year for a county judgeship but was passed over by the Seventh Circuit Judicial Nominating Commission. The commission did, in fact, include his name among those it recommended as qualified. Holford was passed over for the judgeship by county Democratic leaders.
Prince George's Judge Richard V. Waldron has been denied a second term on the bench by the commission that decides whether lawyers are fit to be judges in the county.
The action Tuesday night was the first time in memory that a sitting judge seeking reappointment in Maryland has been denied another term on the bench. Waldron sits on the District Court, a lower court that hears traffic cases and misdemeanors.
Waldron's 10-year career as a judge came to an end when fewer than seven of the 13 voting members of the commission refused to find him among the "legally and most fully professionally qualified" to hold the seat he now occupies.
"We didn't feel he should continue as a sitting judge," said John A. Buchanan, an Upper Marlboro lawyer who heads the Judicial Nominating Commission for the Seventh Circuit. He cited as reasons Waldron's "temperament and disposition with attorneys."
The commission's recommendations follow an unprecedented and overwhelming vote of no-confidence in Waldron by the Prince George's County Bar Association in March. Members of the bar voted 326-to-109 against recommending that Waldron be reappointed.
"He's punctual, and off the brench he's extremely courteous," Buchana said. "He's a fine person, but . . . There is no one particular area I can zero in on. His disposition with attorneys, that's about it."
Waldron, who has consciously avoided fraternizing with other judges and lawyers, said yesterday he was "disappointed but not surprised."
"I have the satisfaction," he said, "in knowing that during the past 10 years I've carried out my duties and responsibilities to the best of my ability and (that) the interest of the public has been well served."
Waldron, 60, a former FBI agent and a Republican appointed in 1967 by then-Gov. Spiro Agnew, was one of six lawyers competing for his seat before the commission, while District Court Administrative Judge James M. Rea, was unopposed for renomination. The other Prince George's judge who was seeking reappointment, was unopposed for renomination.
For Waldron's seat, the commission sent three names yesterday to Gov. Marvin Mandel, who will make his choice from the list after hearing from the county's Democratic political leadership.
Following the lopsided $26-to-109 bar vote, another bar election was - vied for his seat. When the ballots were counted Tuesday afternoon, Waldron came in fourth with 44 votes.
Topping the bar voting were Bond A. Holford, a domestic relations master, with 204 votes; Francis Borelli, the only other avowed by the Republican in the race, 124, and Del RObert S. Reding (D-Bowie), with 60. The nakes of Holford, Borelli and Redding were sent to Mandel yesterday.
Holford won an earlier election for another judicial post earlier this year but was passed over by the nominating commission, which refused to recommend his name to Mandel.
There was speculation before the voting that Waldron's seat would go to another Republican, Borelli, to prevent criticism of an all-Democratic bench. Sam Ianni, a Republican who is chairman of the bar association's judicial selection committee, dismissed such talk yesterday as unrealistic.
"I don't think any Republican has a chance," he said. "I believe to the victors go the spoils, and the Democrats are in power?"
The eight judicial nominating pannels - one in each of the state's circuits - have been sending names for appointment or reappointment to the governor since Mandel created them by executive by order n 1970. Before that, local bar associations submitted recommendations that the governor traditionally followed.
William H. Adkins Jr., state court administrator, said that Denying a sitting judge seeking reappointment another term was unprecedented under the commission system, "as far as I know." He could not recall a smiliar action under the old system either.
"It is certainly a rare situation in which an incumbent is not reappointed," Adkins said.
Waldron had sent Adkins several letters of support, including on from an assistant state's attorney who described the judge as an "able and fairminded man" who "generally presents himself as a business-like and stern jurist . . . This has not always sat well with all who have appeared before him," the prosecutor wrote.