Johnson and Schuh

George F. Johnson IV, left, and Steve Schuh, right. (Baltimore Sun photos / July 15, 2014)

Anne Arundel County executive candidate George F. Johnson IV said Tuesday that if he's elected, he won't fire the police and fire chiefs ... at least not immediately.

Johnson, the Democratic nominee for county executive, said he'll take his time in evaluating whether to keep the county's department heads and public safety chiefs.

Johnson held a press conference at his campaign headquarters in Glen Burnie, saying he's had a "barrage" of questions from police officers, firefighters and voters about who he will chose to run the public safety agencies. If elected, he said, "we plan on not coming in like gangbusters and replacing people."

Meanwhile, Republican candidate Steve Schuh said it's too soon to discuss personnel matters, other than to say that he plans to build a strong team to lead the county if elected. "This is not the time to be speculating on personnel issues," he said.

Johnson said there's a focus on the county's police department since it was entangled in the scandal that led to the 2013 conviction of former County Executive John R. Leopold on charges of misconduct in office. The allegations against Leopold included that he had police officers carry out personal and political tasks.

Johnson said he's met with police Chief Kevin Davis and fire Chief Michael Cox, who were hired last year by current County Executive Laura Neuman. "They do a good job. I work well with them," Johnson said.

pwood@baltsun.com

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