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Montgomery County Deputy State's Attorney Katherine Winfree is getting a promotion, albeit one that entails a murderous commute and a slight pay cut.

As of January, Montgomery 's No. 2 prosecutor will become the state's No. 2 law enforcement official. Winfree, 55, is following her boss, Attorney General-elect Douglas F. Gansler, to Baltimore when he takes office in is gets sworn in January.
She will be his senior deputy attorney general, helping to run the agency, which has approximately 400 lawyers.

"I'm excited," said Winfree, who plans to commute between the Baltimore office and her Bethesda home. "There are a lot of new things to learn."

Winfree and Gansler met when they were federal prosecutors in Washington. She followed him to Rockville when he became state's attorney in 1999. An aggressive and skilled trial lawyer, she has prosecuted several high-profile cases, including those of snipers John Allen Muhammad and Lee Boyd Malvo.

Gansler will have two other deputies. One is John B. Howard Jr., a civil lawyer who focuses on commercial litigation at Venable LLP in Baltimore. Howard, 43, was Gansler's roommate at the University of Virginia law school, and the two remained friends. He worked at the attorney general's office from 1996 to 1999. The other has not been selected.

Ernesto Londono

By Phyllis Jordan  |  November 22, 2006; 9:17 AM ET
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