The Maryland Commission on Judicial Disabilities has issued a reprimand to a Baltimore judge for making political contributions and failing to cooperate with disciplinary authorities.
District Judge Flynn M. Owens donated $50 in 2021 to Maryland Comptroller Peter Franchot, who ran for governor and lost. Owens then contributed $100 in 2022 to Thiru Vignarajah, a former Maryland deputy attorney general who unsuccessfully ran for Baltimore state’s attorney, according to campaign finance disclosure reports.
Owens listed his employer as “State of Maryland” and “State of MD” and his occupation as “Legal.” He consented to the notice of reprimand.
Franchot and Vignarajah both later refunded the donations, campaign finance disclosure reports show.
The Maryland Code of Judicial Conduct prohibits judges from engaging in partisan political activity.
The Baltimore Sun first reported about Owens’ political contributions.
The notice of reprimand was posted online on Wednesday, said Bradley Tanner, a spokesperson for the Maryland Judiciary, in an email.
Gov. Martin O’Malley appointed Owens to the bench in 2014.
From 2006-2014, Owens was a partner at Rubin & Owens, P.A., as well as an associate at Jack B. Rubin, P.A., from 1994-2005. He previously worked at the Maryland Office of the Public Defender and served as a law clerk for Dorchester Circuit Judge Donald F. Johnson.
Owens, 59, could not immediately be reached for comment.