A new poll commissioned by an Anne Arundel County police union shows a majority of county residents who are "aware" of the scandal involving County Executive John R. Leopold think he should resign. The survey showed that 58 percent of the respondents think Leopold should step down, while 44 percent said Police Chief Col. James E. Teare, Sr. should stay in his job.
The poll was sponsored by the International Brotherhood of Police Officers, the union representing the county police's sergeants and lieutenants. The organization has called for both Leopold and Teare to resign after Leopold was criminally indicted in March on four counts of misconduct in office and one count of misappropriation of county funds.
Leopold, a two-term Republican, is set to go on trial in September on allegations that he used his taxpayer funded security detail to perform personal and political tasks, including directing officers who were part of the detail to empty his urinary catheter and transport him to frequent sexual rendezvous with a county employee.
Teare has not been charged with any crimes, but the indictment alleged that Teare was aware of the allegations against Leopold, but took no action.
Dave Abrams, a spokesman for Leopold, decried the poll results.
"This poll isn't worth the paper it was printed on," Abrams said in an e-mail. "People are smart enough to know that you can pay for a poll to say whatever you want it to say. The most accurate poll is an election, which county executive Leopold won handily because he is a strong leader, fiscally prudent and responsive to his constituents. The union bosses up in Massachusetts are only telling you the results that favor them."
A spokesman for Teare did not respond to a message seeking comment.
David Holoway, national president of the IBPO, said in a statement that the poll "clearly shows" that Leopold and Teare have lost public support.
"Leopold can no longer govern and the longer he refuses to step aside the more chaos he faces," said Holoway. "Leopold and Chief Teare no longer have any moral authority to manage the government and the police department. It is way past time for them to go."
The poll of 300 county residents was conducted by Boston-based DAPA Research during the week of April 23rd.