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Anne Arundel County Council Votes Laura Neuman New Executive

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Laura Neuman
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ANNAPOLIS, Md. (WJZ) — In a late night vote, Anne Arundel County replaces its disgraced county executive, John Leopold.

Leopold resigned after he was convicted of misconduct in office.

Meghan McCorkell has the results of the vote.

Laura Neuman has been appointed the new county executive. She’s virtually an unknown among a deep field of Republicans.

Sixteen candidates, including a state delegate, the acting county executive, a former county executive and a former first lady, all made their case in front of the County Council.

“I think that I am the person to fix what is broken,” said Kendel Ehrlich.

“I have a passion for Anne Arundel County,” said acting County Executive John Hammond.

Each was hoping to fill the seat of disgraced County Executive John Leopold, who was found guilty of misconduct in office last month.

Leopold was convicted of using his security staff to perform campaign duties and forcing county workers to do personal errands–like emptying his catheter bag.

County Council members tell WJZ they’re looking for a new county executive that can win the public’s trust and support.

“We’re looking for, in my opinion, someone that will clean house,” said Council Chair Jerry Walker. “The remnants of the Leopold administration have continued to play their games over the last couple weeks and for me, that’s one of the highest priorities on the list.”

“Comprehensive changes to our county government, a government that respects women that work here and some honesty and integrity once and for all,” said Council member Jamie Benoit.

Leaders say John Leopold created a hostile work environment. Now they hope new leadership will be a fresh start.

Laura Neuman is the CEO of Howard County’s economic development authority. She spoke with WJZ moments after the big vote.

“I think it’s a new day in Anne Arundel County. And it will be an exciting time and I look forward to jumping in tomorrow,” she said.

Neuman will be sworn in Friday morning.

John Leopold will be sentenced on March 14.

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