NEW JUDGES: Hogan picked Devine to fill the vacant judgeship left by Judge Lou’s departure with Devine, who lost the election to Charles County Circuit Court

Governor Hogan Announces Judicial Appointments
Fills Court Vacancies in Anne Arundel County, Charles County, Caroline County

ANNAPOLIS, MD—Governor Larry Hogan announced on October 4, 2022, that he has appointed Christine Celeste to the Anne Arundel County Circuit Court, Patrick J. Devine to the Charles County District Court, and Joseph A. Riley to the Caroline County District Court.

“I am proud to appoint this group of distinguished individuals to fill roles across our state’s judicial system,” said Governor Hogan. “I am confident that Ms. Celeste, Mr. Devine, and Mr. Riley will bring valuable experience and knowledge to the bench and will continue to honorably serve their communities.”

District Court Judges do not have to stand for election and are appointed to ten-year terms. Circuit Court Judges are appointed to fifteen-year terms and have to stand for election in the next election cycle following their appointment.

Maryland Governor Larry Hogan celebrates the 388th anniversary of Maryland at St. Mary’s City.

For Anne Arundel County Circuit Court: 

Christine Celeste
 is currently an Attorney Advisor for the U.S. Customs and Border Protection. She previously served as Assistant Bar Counsel with the Maryland Attorney Grievance Commission, and has spent most of her career as a prosecutor in Baltimore City. For 15 years, Ms. Celeste worked as an Assistant State’s Attorney in Baltimore City, serving two of those years as the Deputy Chief of the Gun Violence Enforcement Division. She also served as the Team Leader of the Violent Crime Trial Team and Deputy Chief of the Crime Strategies Unit. Ms. Celeste was specially assigned as a full-time Assistant U.S. Attorney for the District of Maryland from 2008 to 2012. In addition, Ms. Celeste was also a Law Clerk for Judge Clifton Gordy, Circuit Court for Baltimore City.

She received her B.S. from Stevenson University, formerly  Villa Julie College, and her J.D. from the University of Maryland School of Law.

For Charles County District Court:

Patrick J. Devine was appointed by Governor Hogan to the Circuit Court for Charles County in November 2018 and he served successfully until losing the general election to Makeba Gibbs in 2020. After losing the judicial election, he joined the Charles County State’s Attorney’s Office and has served as a prosecutor there for almost 2 years.

Before his appointment to the Circuit Court bench, Mr. Devine worked as a partner with the Prince George’s County-based firm of Sasscer, Clagett & Butcher for five years. He specialized in criminal defense, personal injury, and family law. Mr. Devine also served as a volunteer lawyer with the Family Law Pro-Bono clinic at the Charles County Courthouse. Prior to joining Sasscer, Clagett & Butcher, Mr. Devine was a partner at Devine & Fanning, P.A. for 11 years.  He also served as an Assistant State’s Attorney for Charles County from 1990 to 1995 and served as a law clerk to the Honorable Darlene Perry, Circuit Court for Prince George’s County from 1989 to 1990. He is also a past president of the Charles County Bar Association and was an active participant with the Maryland Volunteer Lawyers.

He received his B.A. from West Virginia Wesleyan College and his J.D. from Columbus School of Law at the Catholic University of America.


The vacancy that Devine was selected for came about due to a Judicial Disabilities Complaint made by Charles County Circuit Court Judge candidate Sara Proctor after Judge Lou felt like he knew what he was doing in calls with prisoners in the slammer in St. Mary’s Jail.

Caroline-County-Courthouse. THE CHESAPEAKE TODAY photo

For Caroline County District Court:

Joseph A. Riley
 has been a prosecutor for his entire career working in both Caroline and Somerset Counties. In the past five years, he has had 13 cases tried to verdict in the Circuit Court, and has been increasing his appearances in District Court while still prosecuting serious felonies in Circuit Court as well.

Caroline County States Attorney Joe Riley

Since 2019, he has served as the Elected State’s Attorney for Caroline County and served 4 years as the Ad Interim State’s Attorney. Mr. Riley currently serves as the Legislative Chair of the Maryland State’s Attorney’s Association and was recognized by the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the District of Maryland for a Human Trafficking prosecution performed in April 2018. That same year, Mr. Riley and members of his prosecution team were recognized as “Heroes” by the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children. From 2018 to 2020, he served as an instructor at the Maryland State’s Attorneys Association Young Prosecutor training school.

He received his B.S. from the University of Maryland at Baltimore County and his J.D. from the University of Baltimore School of Law.

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