Anne Arundel Police Chief Testifies About Leopold Scandal

ANNAPOLIS, Md. (WJZ) — Under oath. The Anne Arundel County police chief testifies as council members demand answers regarding what he knew about a scandal involving the county executive.

Meghan McCorkell was there as the chief spoke out for the first time.

The police chief initially told the council he would not comply with a subpoena for him to appear Monday night, but he did show up. However, the council did not get the answers they wanted.

Flanked by attorneys, Police Chief James Teare walked into council chambers.

“I’m hoping he’ll tell us the truth. I’m hoping he’ll give us answers,” said Councilman Jamie Benoit.

The council has questions about how much the chief knew about allegations County Executive John Leopold had his security detail dig up dirt on his political opponents using the state criminal records database. They didn’t get many answers.

“I do not want to break the law so I respectfully decline to answer questions that would cause me to do that,” Teare said.

The chief says talking about the Leopold case would be a violation of the secrecy of the grand jury. The ACLU — which also wants answers — disagrees.

“It doesn’t mean that the chief of police should be thumbing his nose at the county council and the citizens of Anne Arundel County and telling them all to take a hike,” said ACLU Staff Attorney David Rocah.

Despite no confidence votes from two police unions, the chief testified he is still confident he can do the job.

“I serve with great distinction and honor,” Teare said.

But some council members aren’t happy with the silent treatment.

“Not only am I frustrated but I’m sure many of the citizens out there that have emailed us, called us, contacted us repeatedly, are frustrated as well,” said Councilman Jerry Walker.

Those answers may need to wait until the county executive goes to trial this September.

WJZ did learn that Chief Teare testified twice in front of the grand jury that indicted John Leopold. His attorney says he will speak to the council when the grand jury has concluded or if a circuit court issues an order.

County Executive John Leopold is charged with four counts of misconduct in office and one count of misappropriation of funds.

More from Meghan McCorkell
  • tonybaloney

    He has plenty to hide. If he opens his mouth, he goes to jail.

  • Guitly and should be charged

    If this were any one of us common citizens, our butts would already be in jail for not cooperating….AGAIN…BECAUSE HE HAS POWER HE GETS AWAY WITH THIS.

  • just sayin'

    As long as he makes no reference to what he said in the grand jury room, he can legally answer any questions that the council has, even if they happen to ask the very same questions, and he provides the very same answers. I sympathize with him, in that he would have lost his job if he didn’t do what the county executive asked him to do, however that doesn’t excuse him from breaking the law, which he apparently did, repeatedly. I suspect that he will, in fact, lose his job after Leopold is disposed of, and suspect that he will face criminal charges as well.

  • Facts

    WJZ censors at work today again.

  • Ed W

    They both need to go! I hope they give Teare immunity or a reduced sentence and he tells all as I am confident Leopold did indeed misuse the police officers assigned to him. I do kind of feel sorry for the guy as I’m sure he & others would have lost their jobs if they didn’t do as told. What really bothers me is I pay taxes in AA Co, so I have been paying their salaries.

    I also agree that WJZ censors comments when they do not agree w/ their official biased position, which is totally wrong. An editorial is one thing, but otherwise they should just report the news & not edit or censor it or comments about it. As long as comments do not use foul language, make racial slurs & so on, they should remain as people are entitled to express their opinions. Funny how those who are most opposed to censorship so often misuse it!

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