DENTON — Caroline County Circuit Court Judge Jonathan G. Newell is on leave amid rumors of an alleged police investigation.

Newell has been absent from his courtroom all this week. The Governor’s Office said he is taking a leave of absence and no resignation has been submitted.

According to Bradley Tanner, public information officer with Maryland Judiciary, Newell is on paid leave for two weeks and Judge Brett Wilson is sitting for him.

Neighbors told the newspaper at least eight police cars were seen outside Newell’s Henderson residence at 5 a.m. Saturday morning, July 24.

Maryland State Police responded to inquiries stating it is the agency’s policy to neither comment on nor confirm or deny any potential ongoing criminal investigations. Other police agencies contacted referred questions back to Maryland State Police.

A spokesman for the governor is on the record saying his office is aware of an investigation, according to a published report.

Attempts to reach Newell for comment have been unsuccessful. He took his Facebook page down Wednesday.

Newell was appointed to the bench by Gov. Larry Hogan and took office Aug. 2, 2016. Before that he was state’s attorney for Caroline County for 13 years. Previously he was a deputy state’s attorney in Kent County and before that served as an assistant public defender in Caroline.

Newell is a member of the Caroline County Drug and Alcohol Abuse Council and chairs the Caroline County Narcotics Task Force Advisory Board.

In a social media post to students who were missing out on things like proms and graduation during the COVID-19 pandemic, Newell said he too missed out on those things. He said he left high school after 10th grade, then went to college and then became the first person in his family to go to law school and the family’s first and only judge.

A Chestertown native, Newell attended Washington College, where he earned a Bachelor of Arts in Philosophy in 1992. He graduated from Washington and Lee University School of Law in 1998. Newell served as law clerk to Queen Anne’s County Circuit Court Judge John W. Sause Jr., 1998-1999, and was admitted to the Maryland Bar in 1998.

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