Reporting Kai Jackson
ANNE ARUNDEL COUNTY, Md. (WJZ) — Anne Arundel County Executive John Leopold faces another lawsuit. The suit stems from a so-called “enemies list,” information he’s accused of compiling on his political opponents.
Kai Jackson has details.
The ACLU says it wants this alleged enemies list turned over but the county executive’s office says it doesn’t exist.
The Maryland chapter of the American Civil Liberties Union has filed a civil complaint in court. It alleges Republican Anne Arundel County Executive John Leopold, his office and the county police department broke public records laws by compiling secret files on people considered to be enemies of the county executive.
“The law prohibits the collection of information on private citizens for anything other than a legitimate purpose,” said ACLU Legal Director Deborah Jeon.
In March of this year, Leopold was indicted and charged with four counts of misconduct in office, including charges that he used his police detail to help secure his re-election, run personal errands and drive him to have personal affairs.
The ACLU further alleges that the so-called enemies list was compiled against 11 individuals, including those who filed complaints against Leopold.
“Mr. Leopold wanted to kind of dig up dirt on these individuals who he thought were maybe opposed to him politically or had filed complaints against him,” Jeon said.
The county executive denies all the charges. Spokesperson Dave Abrams would not comment about Wednesday’s indictment but continued to insist that there is no enemies list.
“We want to make clear to other public officials around Maryland that this is not acceptable,” Jeon said.
The criminal case against Leopold is scheduled to go to trial late next month.