ANNAPOLIS, Md. (WJZ)– A grand jury has indicted Anne Arundel County Executive John Leopold. On Friday, he was charged with multiple counts of misconduct in office and one count of fraudulent misappropriation of county finances.
Andrea Fujii has reaction to the indictment from people involved in the case and who worked with Leopold.
The prosecutor contends: “Mr. Leopold regularly misused his executive protection squad for his own political and personal benefit. It details a systematic use of sworn Anne Arundel County officers as political campaign workers, regularly requiring them to place, distribute and check on political campaign signs– often several times a day– throughout the 2010 campaign season.”
Leopold is a Republican, who has served as county executive since 2006 after serving 20 years in the General Assembly.
Some are calling for Leopold to step down, including the woman who ran against him.
Joanna Conti was the Democratic candidate for Anne Arundel county executive in 2010.
“We spent a lot of money on signs that disappeared, and undoubtedly, that hurt,” she said.
According to the indictment, Leopold threw out several of her signs.
According to the Anne Arundel County indictment, he once “pulled the Joanna Conti campaign sign out of the ground and threw it down a ravine.”
“It is pathetic that with all the serious problems facing our county that John Leopold was driving around, picking up and throwing away my signs,” she said.
She’s now calling for Leopold to step down and so are some of his constituents.
“No, I don’t think he should be in office. They need to replace him,” Annapolis resident Clyde Hunt said.
Leopold is also facing a wrongful termination suit by former press aide Karla Hamner who says she witnessed the indictment allegation of Leopold’s employees who were told to “handle many personal tasks during regular workday hours.”
“Instead of the county executive coming on his own to deposit his regular monthly checks, there were times when it was done by security detail,” Hamner said.
The wrongful termination suit is expected to go to trial in the fall.