By Ian Duncan, The Baltimore Sun
4:11 PM EDT, April 12, 2013
Former Anne Arundel County Executive John R. Leopold walked out of jail Friday morning after being locked up since March on a misconduct conviction.
Leopold, 70, dashed through a gate into a black Chevrolet waiting in the Jennifer Road Detention Center employee parking lot before being driven off in the rain. Although he will no longer be spending his nights in a cell, Leopold will be under house arrest for a further 30 days.
Reached later on at his blue, clapboard-sided home in a private community in Pasadena, Leopold peered through the top window of his front door, but did not come out.
"I can't talk now," he said.
It is not clear where Leopold will serve his home detention — online court records list both his address and that of his girlfriend.
Leopold, a Republican, was led to jail from court in handcuffs after his sentencing and hauled to the jail to serve 30 days behind bars. He was also ordered to pay a $100,000 fine and perform 400 hours of community service.
Retired Howard County Circuit Court Judge Dennis M. Sweeney found Leopold guilty on two misconduct counts at a bench trial in January.
The judge said the two-term Republican broke the law when he told his police protection detail to put up campaign signs, collect contributions and research opponents during his 2010 re-election campaign, and when he made county workers empty a urinary catheter bag he used after back surgery.
Sweeney also handled the case of former Baltimore Mayor Sheila Dixon. She was spared jail time, but Sweeney imposed the tougher sentence on Leopold, he said, to deter other officials who might be tempted to abuse their office.
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