Reporting Mike Hellgren
ANNAPOLIS, Md. (WJZ)– The union representing Anne Arundel County’s sergeants and lieutenants has a message for County Executive John Leopold: They want him gone and they’re mounting a campaign to force him out.
Mike Hellgren has the ad and the fallout.
Both of Anne Arundel County’s police unions have been outspoken critics of Leopold, calling for him and the police chief to go amid accusations Leopold was mistreating his security detail and ordering them to illegally dig up dirt on his enemies while the chief ignored it all.
Now, the International Brotherhood of Police Officers (IBPO) is airing a series of radio ads to spread its message.
The radio ad says: “Doing the right thing wasn’t easy, but when leaders like County Executive Leopold and Chief (James) Teare won’t do the right thing, we’re lucky that someone will.”
The head of the union responsible tells WJZ he’s going to keep up the pressure.
“If there is any basis for the chief turning a blind eye to the county administrator’s alleged shenanigans, then I say, ‘Shame on the chief,’” David Holway, the national president of the IBPO, said.
The county executive’s spokesman calls it a smear campaign, “an attempt to bully Mr. Leopold.”
The radio ad further says: “When leaders like Anne Arundel County Executive John Leopold are charged with breaking the law, where do you turn? When leaders like Police Chief James Teare seem to care more about their own power than the safety of the people they’ve sworn to protect, what do you do? You stand by people like Anne Arundel Deputy Police Chief Emerson Davis.”
Davis testified before the County Council when the chief wouldn’t, and urged a federal investigation into the misconduct.
“Sometimes you have to make decisions that are contrary to the administration that you work for,” Davis said.
Leopold denies doing anything improper and plans to fight the charges in court. His trial is expected to start in early September.
The ads will air on three radio stations in the Baltimore area.