Dykes beefing up State’s Attorney’s Office

Wicomico County State’s Attorney Jamie Dykes,right, has hired former Worcester State’s Attorney William McDermott as her Deputy State’s Attorney.

Wicomico County State’s Attorney Jamie Dykes has hired William McDermott as Deputy State’s Attorney and will add two or three more lawyers to fully staff the office.

She has also hired former Maryland State Police Lt. Mike Daugherty as an investigator.

“I am grateful Bill McDermott is here with us. I have full confidence in him,” Dykes told the Salisbury Independent about the 33-year-old, who formerly worked in the Worcester County State’s Attorney’s Office.

“As deputy, he can step in, in my absence. I was able to try a homicide. Normally I’d be distracted when I’m away, worried about how things are at the office, but not with him here,” she said.

McDermott previously worked with Dykes on a number of cases and said he found her to be “an impressive prosecutor and an impressive leader.”

“When I heard she was starting to build the team that she was starting to build and currently enjoys, I think I would be crazy not to want to be a part of it,” he said.

“When you work on the Shore, where the legal community is so small, you get to know who the good players are, the talents.

“This was a great opportunity. The opportunity here is all mine because she’s building such a formidable team. If you look around this office right now, the team she has assembled, you have a crop of the most talented prosecutors anywhere in the state,” McDermott said.

“You look around at this team … and there’s an energy and a synergy and a team here that is really exciting,” McDermott said.

Retained about three weeks ago to work in Wicomico, where the state’s attorney’s office is about twice as large as in Worcester, McDermott has become familiar by getting to know law enforcement officers and going on patrol with the sheriff.

A resident of Girdletree, he and his wife, Patti, have a farm and are foster parents. His wife formally owned Miss Patti Cake bakery in Ocean Pines but moved the commercial kitchen to their farm.

McDermott graduated summa cum laude from Long Island University, where he studied criminal justice, and Catholic University’s School of Law.

“This office has always been the largest law firm on the Shore. Being the hub of Routes 50 and 13, we, unfortunately, have great deal of crime. Even being two or three attorneys down makes a big difference but we’re in a really good place,” Dykes said.

“Mike Daugherty is quite an asset. He was at the Salisbury Police Department before he went to the State Police. For a long time, regionally, he was in charge of the Task Force Criminal Enforcement Division.

“We’re already stronger, even being a few attorneys down, and in a better place than six months ago,” she said.

Her office handles hundreds of cases every month. On staff now are 20 attorneys and 19 administrative employees. The annual budget is $3.8 million.

Dykes said she attended a Lion’s Club meeting where a colleague told her there was a time in the mid-1980s when the State’s Attorney’s Office had only two full-time and one part-time prosecutors.

“Now, 35 years later, we have 20 prosecutors. It has grown 10 times,” Dykes said.

Reach Susan Canfora at scanfora@newszap.com.

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