Leopold Called To Step Down Amid Indictment Allegations

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WJZ general assignment reporter Mike Hellgren came to Maryland's News...
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ANNAPOLIS, Md. (WJZ)— Powerful Maryland politician John Leopold vows to stay in office as calls for him to step down grow louder.

Mike Hellgren has new insight on the fallout and the no confidence vote from two police unions.

The scandal involving Anne Arundel County Executive John Leopold became the brunt of jokes at a packed council meeting, specifically allegations that Leopold used police to drive him to sexual encounters at the Annapolis Mall parking lot.

“A person of his age having sex in the parking lot. He was too cheap to afford a hotel room,” said District 1 County Council candidate Lewis Bracy.

Two police unions called on Leopold and the chief to step down, saying they had no confidence in either of them.

The state prosecutor alleges Leopold even made officers empty his urine after surgery.

“We collectively have been changing Mr. Leopold’s pee bag for years,” said O’Brien Atkinson, Fraternal Order of Police. “Information was put on the chain of command and nobody did anything about it.”

“I think you can expect in the next 24 to 48 hours, I will be asking very detailed questions about people who have been involved in this process,” said G. James Benoit, County Council.

“As far as the no vote of confidence, shame on the police department. I think the county executive and Chief Teare have done a great job in what they do,” said John J. Grasso, County Council.

The security detail was established under Leopold’s predecessor, Janet Owens.

“I’m heartsick for the county,” Owens said. “The allegations were so seamy that it’s a huge distraction and I’m sure people will be concerned about leadership and decision-making.”

Leopold kept to his schedule and told WJZ the indictment is no distraction.

“When all the evidence and all the facts are known, people will have a more full and complete understanding of what’s involved in this case,” Leopold said.

Despite the calls at this meeting for the county executive to step down, he says he will not do so.

The Fraternal Order of Police now wants to take away some of the county executive’s power and have councilmembers approve the hiring and firing of the police chief.

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