Reporting Meghan McCorkell
ANNAPOLIS, Md. (WJZ) — “An egregious abuse of public trust.” That’s what state prosecutors are calling the actions of disgraced politician John Leopold. Now there’s new insight into the sentence the former county executive could be looking at.
Meghan McCorkell has reviewed the latest papers filed in the case.
In their latest filing, prosecutors have recommended a sentence for John Leopold, but it doesn’t include any time behind bars.
A judge called his actions “predatory” and “egregious.”
“I’m humbled by the decision,” said John Leopold, in his only statement after his conviction.
In a trial that uncovered tawdry details of his sex life, Leopold was convicted on two counts of misconduct in office for forcing his staff to run campaign and personal errands like emptying his catheter bag. Now prosecutors have recommended one year of jail time–suspended–a $100,000 fine, five years of probation and 500 hours of community service for Leopold.
In a four-page filing with the judge, the state prosecutor says Leopold’s “deliberate, egregious, abusive and wrongful conduct” would merit some period of incarceration, but he didn’t recommend it, citing the 70-year-old’s age and health issues.
Leopold’s attorneys filed their own memorandum, calling his actions “misguided” and saying, “He has gone from a position of proud public servant to a man publicly ridiculed and vilified.”
“It has been our position from the outset that the conduct complained of here represented poor judgment, as opposed to criminal conduct,” said defense attorney Bruce Marcus.
Leopold stepped down from office three days after his conviction. Defense attorneys write that demonstrates remorse. They are asking for probation.
Leopold will be sentenced on Thursday. The sentencing will be left to the judge.
There are no specific penalties under Maryland law for misconduct in office.