ANNAPOLIS, Md. (WJZ) — A stunning find in Anne Arundel County: hundreds of security cameras unknown to the police department. Now the new county executive is ordering a full investigation.
Adam May has an inside look at the operation.
Only one man monitored those cameras and he reported to former County Executive John Leopold, who resigned in disgrace.
At the end of a long hallway in Anne Arundel County’s main government building, the contents of room 170 were secret–until now. Five video monitors took in the feeds from not a few security cameras and not even a few dozen. Instead, there were more than 500 cameras, which covered just about every corner of every major government building.
“To say it’s unconventional is an understatement,” said new County Executive Laura Neuman.
Neuman says the most alarming part is that the cameras apparently served one person alone.
“Those cameras were monitored by a contract employee who was not reporting to the police department but rather the county executive,” Neuman said.
That’s former County Executive John Leopold, who resigned last month after he was found guilty of misconduct in office. Leopold not only spied on his political opponents but also misused resources to engage in sexual encounters.
“There’s been a cloud hanging over our county a long time and it’s fueled a cynicism among people in the county,” said County Councilman G. James Benoit.
County Executive Neuman immediately shut down the secret camera network. She’s going to have the police department take it over after an investigation.
“We will identify every camera, every location and we will do a complete forensic analysis of the system to understand what was being done with the cameras,” she said.
There are so many cameras in Anne Arundel County, only a small percentage have been looked at by investigators. Hundreds have yet to be analyzed.
It’s still unclear how much taxpayer money was used on the system.