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O’Malley names new appellate judge, top utilities regulator in Maryland

Maryland Gov. Martin O’Malley (D) on Friday named Douglas R. M. Nazarian, current chairman of the state’s Public Service Commission, to a seat on the Court of Special Appeals, the state’s intermediate appellate court.

W. Kevin Hughes will take over for Nazarian as chairman of the PSC, a body that regulates the state’s utilities, O’Malley announced. Hughes, a former legislative aide to O’Malley, has been a member of the commission since last year.

“As leader of the Public Service Commission, Chairman Nazarian has demonstrated his ability to handle complex issues in a fair and thorough way,” O’Malley said in a statement. “I am confident that he has the intellect and organizational skills necessary to meet the needs of the Court of Special Appeals and to render well-reasoned decisions.”

Prior to his appointment as chairman of the PSC, Nazarian, a Baltimore County resident, served as the commission’s general counsel. He previously worked as a lawyer in private practice and has taught at the University of Maryland Francis King Carey School of Law.

Prior to his appointment on the PSC, Hughes served as a deputy legislative officer to O’Malley, a position that involves lobbying for the governor’s agenda in the General Assembly. Hughes held a similar position under former governor Parris N. Glendening (D).

John Wagner is a political reporter covering the race for the 2016 Democratic presidential nomination.

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