John R. Leopold
Anne Arundel County Executive John R. Leopold was charged March 2 with using his taxpayer-funded police detail to help secure his re-election, run personal errands, keep his affair with a county employee private and drive him to frequent sexual rendezvous.
Leopold, a Republican, was charged with four counts of misconduct in office and one count of fraudulent misappropriation of county funds, charges that come after a yearlong investigation by the state prosecutor. If convicted of all misdemeanor charges, the 69-year-old Pasadena resident could face at least one year in jail.
The indictment lists some bizarre allegations -- including that the county executive ordered his security detail to empty his urine catheter after an operation. He was also accused of having the officers drive him to meet a female county employee for sexual encounters in a vehicle parked in public places up to three times weekly.
In a telephone interview after the indictment was announced, Leopold vowed to fight the charges, saying he would not step down. He declined to comment on the specific allegations, but his attorney criticized the state prosecutor's decision to include such graphic detail in the indictment.
"The citizens of the county can look at my decades-long record of public service and know that I've always put the interest of the taxpayers first," said Leopold. "I would ask my fellow citizens to reserve judgment until both sides of the story can be heard. I'm confident that when the citizens hear both sides of the story and hear all the facts, they'll have a complete and full account and we will prevail." (Amy Davis / The Baltimore Sun /March 8, 2012)
The president of the Anne Arundel County
branch of the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People
on Monday night called for the County Council to investigate allegations that the county executive compiled an "enemies list" of his political foes.
Jacqueline Boone Allsup, president of the NAACP, told the council the allegations are "disheartening," and admonished them for not acting.
"The silence of the County Council is unacceptable," said Allsup.
County Executive John R. Leopold, a Republican, was indicted this month and charged with four counts of misconduct in office and one count of misappropriation of county funds. The indictment alleges he used his taxpayer-funded security detail to perform personal and political errands, including compiling dossiers on his political opponents.
Last week, the county released records alleged to have been compiled on three of Leopold's foes. The county said it would not release some records, because they allegedly had been accessed through a state-wide criminal records database.
The American Civil Liberties Union
of Maryland said accessing the database may have been illegal and has called on the county to release all of its records alleged to be part of any dossiers. The ACLU has also called on the council to investigate.
George Phelps Jr., who was the county's first African-American law enforcement officer and is retired, also addressed the council, calling on Leopold to resign.
"How can a man run the government efficiently and prepare his defense at the same time?" asked Phelps.
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