Frederick County Circuit Court Judge Theresa M. Adams used Devon Rolle, her law clerk in 2020, to spy on a Maryland blog investigating Judge Adams.
This article explains how Judge Adams’ law clerk at the time attempted to monitor the online activities of A Miner Detail‘s editors.
Investigating the Frederick Court court system
A Miner Detail launched an investigation into the Frederick County Circut and District Courts beginning in 2019.
Frederick County State’s Attorney J. Charles “Charlie” Smith III alerted A Miner Detail to some questionable judicial criminal sentencing.
A Miner Detail took notice and initiated an intense three-year investigation.
Have you ever heard of Devon Rolle?
Devin Rolle is Frederick County Circuit Court Associate Judge Scott L. Rolle’s daughter.
As of March 2022, Ms. Rolle is listed as an “Associate Attorney” with The Tisdale Law Firm in Temple, Texas. She was previously an assistant public defender with the Maryland Office of the Public Defender.
Here’s where it gets weird.
Between May and August 2020, Ms. Rolle inexplicably initiated friend requests with A Miner Detail’s editors.
A Miner Detail‘s editors have no connection with Ms. Rolle; they do not operate in similar social, networking, or political circles.
Why was Devon Rolle so interested in two Maryland bloggers at the time?
Devon Rolle initiated contact with A Miner Details‘ editors in 2020 because, at the time, she was Frederick County Circuit Court Judge Theresa “Terry” Adams‘ law clerk.
Investigating Judge Theresa Adams
A Miner Detail began investigating Judge Adams’ criminal sentencing starting in 2019.
In 2020, Judge Adams pushed for a police investigation against A Miner Detail for its in-depth coverage of her lenient criminal sentencing.
It certainly makes sense now.
You can understand why Judge Adams might ask David Rolle, her law clerk at the time, to monitor A Miner Detail‘s editors’ online activities.
But what was Judge Adams expecting Devon Rolle to find, and why would she place her law clerk into such a precarious position?
That’s unfair to Devon Rolle.
Devon Rolle clerked for Judge Adams. Was it Nepotism?
What is Nepotism?
Nepotism means “favoritism (as in appointment to a job) based on kinship.”
Devon Rolle is the daughter of Judge Scott Rolle, Judge Theresa Adams’ professional colleague.
The Maryland Court of Appeals has guidelines against Nepotism.
Read a Court of Appeals order from Oct. 1996:
Limitations on Relationships.
a. Relatives who meet established requirements for job vacancies based on their qualifications and performance are not ineligible for Judiciary employment, except that, subject to subsection c of this Section:
(iii) A relative of the clerk of a court or of any active judge of that court is ineligible for employment in the same office as the clerk
As with most court rulings, the government has left a loophole.
The Frederick Circuit Court Clerk could not directly employ Devon Rolle.
But a legal loophole does allow for Ms. Rolle’s father’s colleague – Judge Theresa Adams – to put Ms. Rolle to work.
And put her to work Judge Adams did.
Spying on media outlets and Maryland bloggers under Judge Adams’ teaching and guidance was just another day for Ms. Rolle during her clerkship with Judge Adams.
How do you think taxpayers would feel if they found out that a sitting judge used her law clerk to spy on private citizens?