ANNAPOLIS, Md. (WJZ) — Former Anne Arundel County Executive John Leopold wants to set the record straight about his record. He’s upset over criticism from the woman who replaced him following his fall from grace.
Mike Hellgren spoke to the new county executive, and tells us what upset Leopold.
New County Executive Laura Neuman told WJZ Friday she thinks decisions were made under the old administration without thought to how they impact the constituents. Leopold is bristled in his letter to the editor. He also doesn’t like some of the budget changes.
Disgraced Anne Arundel County Executive John Leopold put himself back in the political spotlight, writing a letter to several newspapers where he fought back against his successor’s criticism that his administration left the county behind, saying:
“These disingenuous, feckless claims are untethered from the facts.”
Neuman was unfazed.
“I wouldn’t even call it a distraction. It’s barely registered from my day,” said current Anne Arundel County Executive Laura Neuman.
“I think Mr. Leopold and his cronies had their opportunity, and that day has passed,” she continued. “Mr. Leopold and his followers feel the county should be run the way they thought was best for it, and it’s been proven that’s not the case.”
It’s one of several letters Leopold has written since his sentencing, but it’s the first one to get political.
He didn’t want to talk to WJZ Friday. He didn’t want to talk to us last month after getting out of the detention center, either.
Alex DeMetrick: “Can you call me?
John Leopold: “I’ll give you a number because I’ve got to run.”
But plenty of constituents in his home base near Pasadena weren’t shy.
“Leopold should just go off into the sunset and shut his mouth,” said Al Antonelli.
“I think he should disappear. He used the office to his advantage,” said Bob Cranford.
“He has a right to his opinion, which I don’t agree with,” said Kelley McAllister. “That shows to me that he’s very insecure.”
Leopold served jail time for misconduct in office, after making county employees empty his urine from his catheter and put up campaign signs.
For the new county executive, it’s time to move on.
“The citizens of this county are ready for a fresh start. They want transparent, clean government and that’s what I aim to do,” said Neuman.
Leopold says belt-tightening under his administration made the county financially stronger. He has not said whether he may be interested in getting back into politics in the future.
Right now, Leopold is spending many of his days completing court-mandated community service at the Anne Arundel County Food Bank.