Business, Politics

Gov. Hogan announces cabinet, judicial appointments

ANNAPOLIS, MD—Governor Larry Hogan on Monday announced a cabinet appointment and three judicial appointments.

The governor appointed Gregory Slater as secretary of the Maryland Department of Transportation.

Slater currently serves as Administrator of the State Highway Administration, a role in which he spearheaded the Traffic Relief Plan—the largest P3 project in the world—and led the negotiations for the Beltway Accord with Virginia to fix the American Legion Bridge and the entire Capital Beltway system.

“Greg Slater has committed his career to public service, and has earned a reputation around the country as an innovator who is tireless and relentless about transportation solutions,” said Governor Hogan. “Greg will continue to lead our efforts to advance the once-in-a-generation Beltway Accord to address some of the worst traffic congestion in the country. With his decades of experience, Greg is sure to build on our balanced approach to infrastructure, including record investment in transit, as leader of the Maryland Department of Transportation.”

SHA Administrator Slater has dedicated more than 20 years to the Maryland Department of Transportation with experience in both planning and engineering and a focus on integrating innovation and performance-driven initiatives into those processes. Prior to being named SHA Administrator in March 2017, he served as Deputy Administrator for Planning, Engineering, Real Estate and Environment after seven years of service as Planning Director.

“The work we do at the Maryland Department of Transportation affects the lives and livelihoods of each of our citizens, and we strive every day to operate in a spirit of trust and accountability,” said Administrator Slater. “I am grateful to Governor Hogan for the honor to serve, and I look forward to leading all of the dedicated professionals of our department.”

Slater serves as Chair of the American Association of State Highway and Transportation Officials’ Transportation Data Management and Analytics Committee. He also is a member of several committees on the National Academy of Sciences Transportation Research Board. Slater is a native Marylander, a 1997 graduate of Towson University, a 2007 graduate of the University of Maryland National Leadership Institute, and a member of the Leadership Maryland Class of 2015.

Slater will succeed Secretary Pete K. Rahn, who has led the Maryland Department of Transportation since Governor Hogan took office in 2015. Secretary Rahn is returning to his home in New Mexico.

“I want to thank Pete Rahn for his outstanding service to our state over the last five years,” said Governor Hogan. “Under his leadership, we have made record investments in transit, advanced the Purple Line—the largest transit project of its kind in North America—secured the Beltway Accord and the Traffic Relief Plan, and resurfaced or improved more than half of our state highway system.”

“It has been my distinct honor to have led the Maryland Department of Transportation,” said Secretary Rahn. “We have achieved so much together to be a national leader in infrastructure because of Governor Hogan’s visionary leadership, and the tireless efforts of the men and women of the department.”

Slater’s appointment, which will be subject to Senate confirmation, is effective January 10, 2020.

Governor Hogan on Monday also announced the following judicial appointments:

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  • Jonathan Biran for the Court of Appeals
  • Richard Trunnell for Anne Arundel County Circuit Court
  • James Lee Tanavage for St. Mary’s County District Court

“The appointment of these qualified individuals to serve across our state’s justice system is paramount to upholding our responsibilities to the people of Maryland and the rule of law,” said Governor Hogan. “I have every confidence that Mr. Biran, Mr. Trunnell, and Mr. Tanavage will continue to be strong advocates for the law and will serve the citizens of Maryland admirably.”

Jonathan Biran was a federal prosecutor for 17 years and is currently a partner at Baker Donelson, a nationally prominent law firm, practicing both criminal defense and appellate law. He worked at the U.S. Department of Justice, Criminal Division. He also served in the U.S. Attorney’s office for Maryland under Rod Rosenstein, working on fraud and public corruption matters. He served on the Maryland Mortgage Fraud Task Force and served as Appellate Chief of the Maryland U.S. Attorney’s Office from 2010-2013, supervising the appellate work of dozens of assistant U.S. Attorneys. He previously served as a law clerk for the Honorable David F. Levi, U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of California. He received his B.A. from Swarthmore College and his J.D. from Stanford Law School.

Richard Robert Trunnell is a solo practitioner operating under the name Trunnell Law, LLC. His practice areas include criminal, traffic, juvenile, domestic relations, and personal injury law. He also practices estate planning and administration, and has a significant mediation practice, which includes both court ordered and private mediations. Throughout his 31-year legal career, Trunnell has worked primarily as either a solo practitioner or at small firms. He also spent six years as a prosecutor in Prince George’s County. He served as a law clerk to Judge Calvin R. Sanders, Circuit Court for Montgomery County from 1987-1988. He received his B.A. from Gettysburg College and his J.D. from the University of Maryland School of Law.

James Lee Tanavage is a solo practitioner with the Law Office of James L. Tanavage, LLC. He is a general practitioner handling criminal defense, DWI/DUI, domestic cases, family law, personal injury, and wills and estates cases. Prior to creating his own firm in 2011, he was an assistant state’s attorney in St. Mary’s County for 18 years. He also worked as an associate with the firm of Farmer and Braun and served as a judicial law clerk for the Honorable Robert C. Nalley, Circuit Court for Charles County from 1990-1991. Tanavage holds a B.S. from LaRoche College (now LaRoche University) and obtained his J.D. from the University of Baltimore School of Law.

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