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Judicial candidate Joseph M. Stanalonis accused his appointed opponent, David W. Densford, at a political forum Tuesday night of taking part in pursuing a complaint against the challenger to take away his career as a lawyer.

A question that evening about a complaint filed against Stanalonis through the Maryland Attorney Grievance Commission followed a rebuke in August of his campaign’s activities from the Maryland Judicial Campaign Conduct Committee. The committee criticized Stanalonis in part for altering portions of an Enterprise newspaper endorsement for Densford in an ad and a dinner brochure, and for comments in a flier about Densford’s handling of criminals, his stance on circuit court judicial elections and his position on putting convicted sex offenders on a state registry.

Stanalonis, a assistant state’s attorney, said during the Tuesday forum at Great Mills High School that the complaint with the grievance commission was the first one filed against him during his 17 years as a lawyer, and that it arose in part from a campaign flier that he maintains was truthful in its content.

“The complaint was not signed,” Stanalonis said. “It appears to have been filed by my opponent’s campaign.”

Densford responded, “I knew nothing about it. I did not file that, and my campaign did not file it.”

Stanalonis said, “I think it’s a ludicrous reason to file a complaint in an election.” He later added, “I believe the filing of the grievance was malicious and was an attack on my law license.”

The two candidates, both registered Democrats, are scheduled to appear at another forum beginning at 6 p.m. on Thursday, Oct. 18, at Leonardtown High School.

jwharton@somdnews.com