Prince George's District Court Judge Louis J. DiTrani will resign from the bench as of July 1, court officials said yesterday.
The resignation of DiTrani, 52, which was made in a letter to Gov. Harry Hughes Friday, follows his arrest for soliciting two male, undercover U.S. Park Police officers at the Belle Haven Marina in Alexandria last summer.
In November, federal prosecutors dropped charges of obscene and immoral acts and soliciting for immoral purposes. DiTrani then pleaded guilty in U.S. District Court in Alexandria to disorderly conduct and creating a public nuisance. He was fined $100 and was allowed to remain on the bench.
Yesterday, a state official, who asked not to be named, said DiTrani recently had been contacted by the Judicial Disabilities Commission, which is responsible for disciplining judges, to set up an appointment to talk with him about his arrest and his plea.
At that point, the official said, DiTrani decided to submit his resignation to Hughes. Richard P. Gilbert, chief of the Court of Special Appeals, who also heads the judicial commission, would not comment on DiTrani yesterday, explaining that any action taken by the commission is confidential.
DiTrani did not return phone calls to his office yesterday, but Judge Robert F. Sweeney, chief of the Maryland District Court, said DiTrani told him last Friday that "he'd made a decision to resign from judicial service and return to the practice of law." Sweeney said he was also notified that DiTrani had sent the letter to Hughes.
Sweeney said he told DiTrani that "he could look back with pride on six years of service to this court."
Sweeney said the District Court vacancy will be advertised soon and that the governor would appoint a new judge to a 10-year-term. The governor is interviewing candidates for two other judicial vacancies in Prince George's -- one each in the District and Circuit courts.