By Ken Rossignol

LEONARDTOWN, MD – Republican Jaymi Sterling was sworn in by her father, Maryland Governor Larry Hogan, in the Circuit Court House of St. Mary’s County on January 3, 2022. 

Sterling, a prosecutor for about twelve years, enjoyed a special introduction by United States Federal District Court Judge Alexander Williams Jr. in a down-home Maryland speech that her former boss delivered to the delight of the gathered crowd of friends, family, and politicos from around Southern Maryland.


Judge Williams told the crowd about her devotion to work, kindness, and politeness of Sterling when she worked for him as a law clerk after she graduated from the University of Maryland Law School. Judge Williams, twice elected States Attorney of Prince Georges County, noted to the crowd that Sterling also worked another job on nights and weekends – as a ball girl for the Baltimore Orioles chasing down foul balls at Orioles games.

Cal-Ripken-at-Sterling-event-on-Jan-3-2023. THE CHESAPEAKE TODAY photo

Perhaps that job brought baseball great Cal Ripken Jr to the swearing-in as the guest of her parents, Governor Larry Hogan Jr. and First Lady Yumi Hogan.

 Judge Williams said it was a great honor to serve for over twenty years as a Federal Judge. Still, his eight years as the States Attorney for the people of Prince George’s County were enjoyable and crucial to serving justice. Judge Williams pointed out her dedication and devotion of Sterling to holding those who kill with opioids accountable for their actions as the epidemic takes so many lives.

Governor-Larry-Hogan-and-First-Lady-Yumi-Hogan-at-reception. THE CHESAPEAKE TODAY photos

Governor Hogan is well known to St. Mary’s County as his father was a congressman representing the Prince Georges County 5th Congressional District and Prince Georges County Executive. Larry Hogan Jr campaigned hard in St. Mary’s County in 1992 when losing as the GOP nominee for Congress, facing U. S. Rep. Steny Hoyer in the General Election.

Jaymi Sterling married Ben Sterling from St. Mary’s County, moving to the county where the couple lives with their two children, and as Sterling noted in her remarks to the gathered crowd, half of the county are her relatives as a result.


Calling the gathering to order to begin the ceremony was Circuit Court Judge Mike Stamm, appointed to the bench by Republican Governor Robert Ehrlich and won his first 15-year term on the bench in 2006 by defeating opponents Shane Mattingly and George Sparling. Judge Stamm won the election to another term without any opponent in 2022. Judge Stamm must have been without a script as he proceeded without introducing his compatriots on the St. Mary’s Circuit Court, Joe Stanalonis and Amy Lorenzini, both of whom were appointed by Governor Hogan.

Before the event began, Judge Stamm strutted around the courtroom sans robe, checking the arrangements as a butcher in the Leonardtown Supermarket of old might have done before opening time on a busy day.


Judge Stamm, apparently new to the Master of Ceremonies gig, also failed to introduce the Chief Judge of the Maryland Court of Appeals, Greg Wells, Judge Laura Ripken of the Court of Appeals, or Justice Michelle Hotten of the Maryland Supreme Court.

Richard Fritz sits at the prosecution table with a wallet and the States Attorney Badge to present to Sterling.

Sitting stoically in the courtroom as the ceremonial swearing-in got underway was Richard Fritz, whom Jaymi Sterling beat back into the stone age from whence he slithered from in 1998. Fritz, without his good old boys’ supporters who were stunned to see him whipped in the GOP primary every which way from Sunday – crushed and demolished like an old fifties model Chevy Belair in a junkyard, was present to present the states attorney badge.

 It seemed that the real purpose of his presence of Fritz was not to bury the past where he called Sterling a product of out-of-town money and financial supporters of her father and so inexperienced that she never handled any felony cases. Still, he really was there to be the skunk at the picnic.

During the campaign, Sterling listed dozens of felony cases she handled. The real problem was that if Fritz couldn’t bury an opponent in 140 false indictments as he did in the 2010 election, he would simply pile lie upon lie about Sterling in his many campaign ads. 

Fritz could have simply left his shiny badge on the desk and walked out of the office. But, like all relics of another era, Fritz had his last hurrah.

The Juxtaposition of Fritz in the same courtroom just about ten feet away from the esteemed Federal Judge Williams was quite the contrast to the stink and aura of oppression that hung over Fritz from the 1998 Election Interference.

In that event, Fritz financed, led, protected, and participated in when six deputies and their cohorts swept the county’s newsstands and vending machines to remove all available copies of ST. MARY’S TODAY newspaper to prevent citizens from reading critical news articles of Sheriff Richard Voorhaar and Fritz before voting.


The United States Court of Appeals characterized the raid on newsstands in the landmark decision Rossignol v Voorhaar as being like the Ku Klux Klan and oppressive as actions in totalitarian countries such as Nazi Germany. The litigation resulted in significant costs to the taxpayers and is a precedent for the election interference of the FBI in the 2020 elections.

St. Mary’s Circuit Court Family Magistrate Kevin Hill

District Court Judges Christy Holt Chesser and James Tanavage were also present. One of the relatives of Jaymi Sterling was the first District Court Judge for St. Mary’s County, Judge William O. E. Sterling, and he held court in the cramped basement of the 1901 Courthouse, which is attached to the new addition in which the ceremonial swearing-in took place. Former public defender, assistant states attorney, and newly appointed Circuit Court Family Magistrate Kevin Hill was also present.


 Maryland State Senator Jack Bailey attended along with his wife Karin Bailey, president of the St. Mary’s Board of Education, and Board Member Mary Washington, the senior elected official present having first won election in 1996. Board member Jim Davis was in the overflow in another courtroom where the events were streamed to a large screen.


Members of the Maryland House of Delegates, Matt Morgan (R 29A) and Todd Morgan (R. 29C), were both in attendance. Del. Brian Crosby (D. 29B) wasn’t present. St. Mary’s Republican Central Committee Members Bryan Barthelme, Chris Beaver, and Jennifer Boyd were in attendance, with Central Committee Member David Willenborg, a Fritz relative, noticeably absent.

The-Senator Jack Bailey-family-at-Sterling-ceremonial-Swearing-In

Also absent were the many area lawyers who financed Fritz’s train wreck of a campaign as if they might be worried he would be resurrected in the next election and wreak vengeance upon them for celebrating the Sterling induction as St. Mary’s States Attorney.

Governor-Larry-Hogan-presents-the-official-certificate-of-office-to-his-daughter-Jaymi-Sterling while Federal Judge Alexander Williams takes a photo with his cell phone. THE CHESAPEAKE TODAY photo

The St. Mary’s County Commissioners were all in Cambridge for the Maryland Association of Counties Winter Meeting, one of two events where the elected officials attend the soiree to be wined and dined by lobbyists. The Winter Meeting is important to the counties as they plot and plan for the annual conference of the General Assembly in Annapolis to line up pleadings for funds and argue against unfunded mandates by the heavily socialist Democrat-controlled legislature.


The gathering was respectful and began with a presentation of the colors by the Leonard Hall Junior Naval Academy, the National Anthem performed by Gracen Armsworthy of St. Mary’s Ryken High School, along with the children of Jaymi and Ben Sterling, Cam and Nora, leading the gathering with the Pledge of Allegiance.


The invocation delivered by Rev. Larry Crabtree would have warmed the heart of King George III as he strongly admonished with ecclesiastical passages, which would have stunned the founding fathers as he urged all assembled to obey all orders of their leaders.

Two courtrooms were packed, more than for a good murder trial.

The circuit courtroom was packed with relatives, friends, officials, Keith Raley, and his family from Ridge, Maryland. The Keith Raley family attended many campaign events in 2022 to get out the vote for Jaymi Sterling. They brought with them on January 3 their appreciation to their friends and relatives for supporting Sterling to oust Fritz, whom they have good reason to believe being given the heave-ho was long overdue.  

Kristee Boyle, daughter of Keith and Brenda Raley, was shocked when Kristee’s son Peyton Ham was killed by a Maryland State Trooper who responded to a 911 call of a suspicious man with a gun two doors down from the Maryland State Police Barrack in Leonardtown. The tragic death had all the marks of a suicide-by-cop event, as the 911 calls came from Ham’s cell phone.

A photo taken at the scene shows clearly that the trooper was standing in a superior position while the already wounded Ham was kneeling on the ground. After the photo was taken, the trooper fired several more shots when Ham displayed a knife, and the teen was fatally shot on the scene and died minutes later at the nearby St. Mary’s Hospital. 

Several shots landed in homes across the highway from the trooper’s gun. The investigation was conducted by the Maryland State Police instead of an independent agency, and the case was handled by Deputy States Attorney Daniel White. The Raleys contend that another agency and another States Attorney’s Office should have dealt with the probe, and a Grand Jury would possibly have found that the trooper used far more force than necessary. Daniel White is related to several members of the Maryland State Police, and they believed him to be conflicted and later refused to speak to them; a secretary told them to stop calling and bothering the Fritz office.

A federal lawsuit is now pending, and the trooper has been transferred to Prince Frederick. The Raley family still seeks the justice that they believe was denied to them by Richard Fritz.

The Maryland Trooper responded to a report of a person walking with a gun and found Peyton Ham in this driveway. THE CHESAPEAKE TODAY photo

In his goofy speech, Fritz tried to cover the issue of some folks not understanding the title of the prosecutor’s office in Maryland. In covering the same topic already explained by Judge Williams minutes before, the awkward recitation by Fritz was yet another demonstration to the Raley family that the justice they sought by having the death of Peyton Ham be decided by a jury was denied to them by Fritz – who views justice as a vehicle to provide him with a handsome living to support his hunting lifestyle.

Also not present was Carla Henning Bailey, whom Fritz pleaded guilty to raping along with two other young men. Bailey said all she ever wanted was justice, and Fritz got a plea deal from States Attorney Charlie Norris, an 18-month suspended sentence, and a law degree.


As the curious habits of St. Mary’s County voters showed a surge of reason in 2022 by booting Fritz from office, the electorate selected Steve Hall as Sheriff despite his being in charge of a police firing range on a farm next to Wildewood which resulted in live rounds entering a home and landing near an infant in a crib. Fritz and St. Mary’s Sheriff Tim Cameron protected Hall from being charged with negligence. A disclosure of Hall’s criminal background in THE CHESAPEAKE TODAY, where he served six days in jail after his conviction for a violent assault, also revealed that he failed to tell the truth when St. Mary’s Sheriff Wayne Pettit hired him. 

But, as H. L. Mencken said long ago, the common man knows what he wants and deserves to get it good and hard.


When the oath of office was given and sworn to by Sterling and by a couple of dozen assistant states attorneys, recited by the Governor and by Clerk of the Circuit Court Debra Burch, missing each time the oath was recited was the ending used in courtrooms in Maryland over the last two hundred years, “so help me God” which may explain the lack of clarity, truthfulness, and fidelity in government in recent times.

Fritz’s Deputy States Attorney Daniel White wasn’t among the group of prosecutors sworn into office. Neither were Ted Weiner or John Pleisse, who were photographed and posted on the States Attorney’s Facebook page with Fritz on Christmas Eve, being handed awards for their service, making a jolly holly end to the good old boy’s domination of justice in St. Mary’s County.

  • Victory Celebration at Sterling Election Night Party

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