After 16 years, Loudoun Co. prosecutor Jim Plowman to become judge

WASHINGTON — Loudoun County Commonwealth’s Attorney Jim Plowman has been the top prosecutor in Virginia’s fastest-growing jurisdiction since 2003 — and he’ll soon trade his spot at the prosecution table for a seat on the judge’s bench.

The Virginia General Assembly has selected Plowman to fill a vacancy that will be created in the Circuit Court of 20th Judicial District — which includes Loudoun, Fauquier, and Rappahannock counties.

Plowman’s appointment to an eight-year term on the bench will take place Nov. 1, with the retirement of Circuit Court Judge Jeffrey Parker.

During Plowman’s time in office, he says the county population has grown from about 225,000 to just over 400,000.

Plowman says the growth has had an impact on his office’s ability to cover court dockets, answer public inquiries and provide community outreach.

“We’ve actually been able to stay ahead of the curve, and according to the latest reports in September, we’re the safest county in the national capital region, with crime dropping for the 5th straight year,” said Plowman. “Obviously it’s not just our office, but cooperative relationships with local law enforcement agencies are imperative.”

In a Feb. 3 letter to members of the general assembly, Plowman described why he wanted to become a judge.

“I think the position of Judge, in any court, is something that a person is called to do. Some may seek out these positions as a desire or culmination to cap off a career. I question whether those are the correct motivations, I see this as more of a duty to men and women, whose sense of obligation has called them.”

Plowman, as the prosecutor in the county with the highest median household income in the United States, said he “would also understand and know how to ensure that each person has equal access to the court system and is able to provide for the fair administration of justice.”

Plowman is a Republican. Currently, the only announced candidate in the commonwealth’s attorney race is Buta Biberaj, a Democrat.

Neal Augenstein

Neal Augenstein has been a reporter at WTOP since 1997. Through the years, Neal has covered many of the crimes and trials that have gripped the region. Neal's been pleased to receive awards over the years for hard news, feature reporting, use of sound and sports.

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