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Court of Appeals Halts Alston, Hall Decision

The Maryland Court of Appeals will review the Greg Hall and Tiffany Alston case next week.

Maryland's highest court has slammed the breaks on Gov. Martin O'Malley's appointment of a new Prince George's County delegate to replace the ousted Tiffany Alston, reported The Washington Post.

After a circuit court judge ruled Wednesday that neither Alston nor businessman Greg Hall were eligible for Alston's District 24 seat in the Maryland House of Delegates, a higher court of appeals placed that decision on hold—delaying O'Malley from appointing a replacement immediately. 

Prince George's County Democratic Central Committee (PGCDCC) Chair Terry Speigner said Wednesday that the decision was unprecedented, but the judge's ruling wasn't a surprise. The PGCDCC will have 15 days to officially withdraw Hall's name.

Although he said that both Alston and Hall could appeal, the PGCDCC would suggest someone new for O'Malley to appoint, although the committee no longer has any official say in the governor's decision.

Alston was removed from her seat after some legal troubles earlier this year. The PGCDCC originally had voted to appoint Hall to her vacant seat, but decided to recant its nomination at the request of O’Malley, who had concerns over Hall’s checkered past.

Nicole Miller, who is the former president of the county's young democrats club, said although she understands O'Malley's hesitation, Hall paid his debt to society.

"I understand the concern—a lot of the incidents that have occurred in the county are unfortunate," Miller, 35, said. "It places a black eye on the county's reputation."

However, she argued that Hall's record was from 20 years ago.

"He changed his life around," Miller, of Lanham, said. "A lot of members of that community had confidence in him to vote for him."

She noted that Hall received the second highest number of votes in District 24 during the original election when Alston won the seat.

District 22 State Sen. Paul Pinksy (D-Prince George's) said Wednesday the governor likely will vet the new appointee very carefully so there's not a similar situation.

"[Alston and Hall] can appeal, but I don’t think the governor has to withhold an appointment until it’s repealed," Pinsky added. "Their threat of appeals wouldn’t stop the process."

Although he understands that Hall rehabilitated himself, he said some people were concerned about more recent incidents with the law.

"Can people change in 10 to 15 years? Absolutely," Pinsky said. "I just don’t want our county to be embarrassed anymore. I want the best leaders. I want the new Prince George’s."

Speigner said he hopes to get the seat filled as soon as possible.

"Before Jan. 12 would be ideal," he said. "We want to make sure the district has full representation in [the] upcoming session."

The halt is temporary and gives a chance for the Maryland Court of Appeals to weigh in on the case next Wednesday, according to The Post.

But, Miller hopes if the decision remains against Hall's appointment, it doesn't deter other youth to pursue their dreams because of something they did in the past.

"We need more people my age and younger to be involved and represent our community," she said.

Must Have standards December 08, 2012 at 02:27 PM
It is a price to pay to live right. A person with a checkered past can not work for the federal government, state government, county government and for most corporation that is why most people in Hall situation would start there own business. This has nothing to with race but it it is the standards of the United States. At this point encourage your children to live right and not be a follow. Use Hall life as an example to let them know that young adult bad decisions can close the doors of opportunity. I agree with Senator Pinsky that he have current lawbreaking issues. He received a lot of votes because he was on a ballot of proven leadership such as County Executive Baker, Congresswoman Donna Edwards and Senator Joanne Benson. Hall did not have a track record of success in 2014 we need to do research on the candidates that are on the ballot.
Not Perfect December 10, 2012 at 01:12 AM
If he has lived an upstanding life without further criminal issues, why not allow him the position? I am certain there are MANY politicians with far more hidden and open discretions in their backgrounds and NOTHING is being held against them. If no one can be redeemed from past error and/or wrongs, then WHO is fit? NO ONE, that's who. Thankfully GOD does not judge us the way we judge one another.
Must Have standards December 12, 2012 at 12:53 PM
I believe a person can but this guy is a fraud. He is still breaking the law in several areas. Sorry that this was someone the young dems selected to follow when most of them have live a model life. Mr. Hall is all talk and no action. He had no record when he ran in 2010 and he did not put any milestones since he lost. He looks like an opportunist with no completions or success stories behind his name if he had a record people would have been behind him in the 24th more people oppposed him being appointed. You believe he has changed then put you belief and efforts behind him in 2014.
GLO December 27, 2012 at 08:03 PM
What we need in PGC is clean slate, no more criminals or former criminals. Avoiding activities that can get you arrested or marked as a thief is a function of common sense and character. Proven good character should be the bottom line for people in positions of public trust. Since most of us are and have been law abiding, is it too much to ask for a state delegate that we can trust, someone who has protected his/her own good name? I'm tired of being embarrassed by the theivery and corruption of Prince Georges elected officials. Greg Hall was involved in some very serious criminal acts, but unlike Tiffany Alston, he wasn't a grown-up in positions of public trust, who decided to steal, and from several sources. I was less outraged by her stealing state funds, than I was by her neglience in representing a law client, then refusing to return their $5,000 after she didn't perform her duty as their lawyer. She still isn't taking responsibility for her greed and arrogance, she's blaming everybody but herself, the real culprit.

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