MARYLAND

John Leopold trial: Judge dismisses theft charge in Leopold case

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ANNAPOLIS, Md. (AP) - A judge has thrown out a misconduct in office charge against Anne Arundel County Executive John Leopold.

However, Judge Dennis Sweeney is allowing several other charges to proceed at trial.

Sweeney on Friday dismissed a charge accusing Leopold of theft by taking a political opponent's campaign sign. Sweeney says the incident would have happened when Leopold was acting as a private citizen, not as county executive.

Leopold is accused of using his police security detail and a secretary for personal and political reasons.

He still faces three charges of misconduct in office. He also is charged with misusing county money for personal benefit.

Leopold's attorneys moved to dismiss the charges earlier Friday. They are proceeding with his defense.

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