Reporting Mike Hellgren
BALTIMORE (WJZ)– Sex, power, and secrets. The embarrassing indictment against Anne Arundel County Executive John Leopold is drawing new, strong backlash against the powerful politician.
Mike Hellgren has the strong words from a police union head, who says this could lead to a public safety crisis.
This all comes as the county executive said everything is running smoothly, but some county employees say that is far from the truth. The American Civil Liberties Union is particularly concerned about allegations that Leopold was spying on his opponents.
The ACLU is demanding access to what they’re calling indicted Anne Arundel County Executive John Leopold’s “enemies list”– files the state prosecutor claims Leopold asked his security detail to keep on political opponents.
“It’s expressly forbidden by the law and to have a top-ranking government official engaged in this conduct and directing police officers to spend their time on this conduct is outrageous,” Deborah Jeon, the legal director of ACLU of Maryland, said.
And two police unions want Leopold to step down.
The national head of the International Brotherhood of Police Officers (IBPO) is outraged at allegations Leopold’s protection staff had to drive him to sex encounters and clean up his urine.
“Anne Arundel will become — once word spreads of this indictment — the laughing stock of the country,” David Holway, national president of the International Brotherhood of Police Officers, said.
His comments follow a no-confidence vote from the Fraternal Order of Police less than 24 hours ago.
“I think like anybody else, I was surprised to see 100 percent of the members vote that way,” O’Brien Atkinson of the Fraternal Order of Police of Anne Arundel County, said.
Leopold has denied wrongdoing.
The police chief told WJZ: “I continue to work well with the FOP and its members. I am honored to serve as Anne Arundel County’s police chief and I continue to have full faith and confidence in all police department members.”
“If there is any basis in the published reports of the chief turning a blind eye to the county administrator’s alleged shenanigans, then I say, shame on the chief,” Holway said.
Both the chief and Leopold have given no indication that they plan to resign their positions. The ACLU wants to know exactly how long Leopold has been keeping these files on his opponents and what information is in them.
The IBPO represents sergeants and lieutenants in the county’s police department.