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Leopold Guilty on 2 Counts
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January 29, 2013
Anne Arundel County Executive John Leopold was convicted today on 2 of 4 counts of misconduct in office. WYPR’s Joel McCord reports.
JOEL MCCORD: Leopold’s lawyers conceded that he may have ordered his police detail to pick up campaign contributions or to pass out campaign signs and tear down his opponent’s signs. They even admitted that Leopold had his police detail keep his mistress and his girlfriend separate while he was in the hospital recovering from back surgery and that the police detail drove Leopold to assignations with his mistress in a bowling alley parking lot. But none of that was illegal, they said. On some points, Judge Dennis M. Sweeney agreed. He said the parking lot assignations may have been tawdry, but there was nothing illegal. And keeping his mistress and girlfriend separate was no different from passing messages along to spouses. But he drew the line at ordering employees to empty Leopold’s catheter bag while he was recovering from those surgeries. It was an egregious abuse of power, as was ordering police to keep dossiers on political opponents, Sweeney said. The misconduct counts are misdemeanors. Judge Sweeney did not set a date for sentencing. Leopold does not necessarily lose his office right away; the County Council will have to decide that. I’m Joel McCord reporting in Annapolis for 88.1 WYPR.
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