John Leopold indicted: Anne Arundel County executive charged with misconduct
Anne Arundel County Executive John Leopold was indicted Friday on allegations that he used his power as an elected official to have sex with women. He is also accused of using his security detail for his personal gain.
Leopold, 69, was charged with four counts of misconduct in office and one count of misappropriation of county funds.
"Public officials criminally abuse their public trust when they treat public resources as their personal property and public personnel as their personal servants," says Maryland state Prosecutor Emmet Davitt in a statement. "These abuses will not be tolerated."
Leopold, a Republican, allegedly used sworn, on-duty Anne Arundel County officers as political campaign workers who would regularly place and distribute campaign signs during the 2010 election, according to the state's attorney.
Authorities also allege that Leopold had the security detail drive him to locations to remove campaign signs of political opponents as well as creating dossiers of Leopold's political opponents.
The indictment also accuses Leopold of using the security officers to drive him to commercial parking lots, where he would have sex with another county employee.
The indictment says the liaisons occurred two to three times a week during the second half of 2010 and that Leopold "directed the (officer) to remain in the same parking lot, but at some distance away, while he and the woman engaged in sexual activity."
The papers also outline how officers allegedly worked more than 170 hours of overtime, keeping Leopold's live-in girlfriend, and the female employee, from learning about each other, while visiting him in the hospital after back surgery.
The overtime pay amounted to $10-thousand dollars, according to the indictment.
"That's appalling--and I'm a little embarrassed", says Annapolis resident Matt Pipkin.
"He's done a great job in office, but that kind of conduct--I'm glad they found the right truth."
Leopold isn't commenting on the specific allegations, but says he'll fight the charges.
"I'm very confident when all the salient facts are known, that we will prevail", he says.
The 69-year old county executive says he has no plans to resign.
"We've done a lot of creative things in the county, and I fully expect to continue that progressive agenda for the next two years," he adds.
Donna Graziano, from Centreville, Maryland, says if the charges are true, then she's not happy about it.
"Sadly, I think you're hearing too much these days, it's seems, of people taking advantage."
"I think this happens more often then unfortunately it's caught," said Heather Cibrian, who recently moved to Annapolis.
"I'm shocked but I'm not shocked. I think that's a sad thing to say in of itself," she added.
A trial date has not yet been set to hear the case in court.
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