Reporting Derek Valcourt
ANNAPOLIS, Md. (WJZ) – Former Anne Arundel County Executive John Leopold prepares to learn his punishment on charges of misconduct in office. He’ll face the judge Thursday.
Derek Valcourt explains there’s one punishment Leopold likely won’t be facing.
It’s likely he won’t be looking at any jail time, largely because prosecutors aren’t asking for it.
Former Anne Arundel County Executive John Leopold resigned in disgrace just days after his conviction on two counts of misconduct in office.
“I’m humbled by the decision,” Leopold said at the time.
Now state prosecutor Emmet Davitt, who spent weeks pursuing the criminal charges against Leopold, has announced he will not ask the judge to put Leopold in jail because of his age and health. Instead, he’ll ask Leopold get five years of probation, 500 hours of community service and be fined $100,000.
“I think he should have a little more than that,” said one Anne Arundel County resident.
In the community Leopold’s accused of wronging, many see that as a slap on the wrist.
“I think he should be in jail, because he had people taking his catheter to places. That’s nasty, man,” said a county resident.
“I voted for him when he was running. I really liked him but when you break the rules, you gotta pay for it,” said a county resident.
“I’m kinda disappointed,” said Joan Harris, a former Leopold staffer.
Harris says she didn’t miss a day of his trial after she claims she was unjustly fired. She says his punishment for the charges should include time behind bars.
“Just because of the outrage of his behavior, his misuse of power, how he tore this whole county apart. He embarrassed the county,” said Harris.
Some in Annapolis aren’t surprised to hear a politician may walk away from conviction without jail time.
“He did do some good things for the county. He’s been around for a long time but it seems they get away a lot easier than the normal citizens do,” said a county resident.
Of course, sentencing is all up to the judge. He can do more or less than the prosecution asks for. The defense is asking simply for probation.
Sentencing is set for Thursday. There are no specific penalties under Maryland law for misconduct in office.