Today, Anne Arundel County Executive John Leopold has been indicted by a grand jury and faces several charges. These include misusing his executive protection squad for political and personal benefit.
This is not the first time the two term County Executive has faced a grand jury. In 2010, sexual harassment allegations by former county employees culminated in a $5 million lawsuit. According to State Prosecutor Emmet Davitt’s office, Leopold is currently charged with four counts of misconduct in office and one count of fraudulent misappropriation by a fiduciary.
The alleged activities leading to the charges include asking the officers assigned to his protection squad to remove signs of political opponents and having them wait while he engaged in sexual activity with a county employee in commercial parking lots.
When announcing the indictment, Davitt said, “Public officials criminally abuse their public trust when they treat public resources as their personal property and public personnel as their personal servants. These abuses will not be tolerated,”
The indictment details Leopold’s two hospital stays for back surgery. During that time the County Executive is accused of costing the county over $10,000 for police overtime pay. Davitt’s statement specifically says, “…the county executive required an additional police officer to work overtime to prevent one girlfriend from meeting up with his live-in partner.”
According to the indictment, the officers assigned to Leopold’s executive protection squad repeatedly expressed concerns over the duties they were asked to perform. Reads Line 14 of the indictment, “The (executive protection officers), on several occasions, reported their concerns regarding Leopold directing them to conduct campaign activity to their superiors in the Police Department, to include Chief James Teare Sr., but no effective action was taken by the chief.”
Leopold called WBAL-TV 11 News to speak live during 11 News at 5 p.m. During the interview he stated he has no plans to step down from office and will continue to dispute the allegations. Openly critical of the state prosecutor, he said, “I look forward to my side of the story being heard, in a court of law, both sides have the opportunity to present evidence and arguments as opposed to the grand jury process which can be manipulated and controlled solely by the state prosecutor.”
As of this report, no trial date has been set.