ANNAPOLIS, Md. (WJZ) — John Leopold’s crass behavior cost him his job as Anne Arundel County executive. Now it’s costing the county another $100,000.
Alex DeMetrick reports the payout stems from a fired employee’s lawsuit.
John Leopold faced legal trouble on two fronts–the criminal complaint that led to his resignation as Anne Arundel County executive and his eventual conviction and jail time; then there are the civil lawsuits for his behavior toward county employees.
Karla Hamner settled her suit. It took four years.
“It’s been a very long, hard battle,” she said.
Hamner sued the county, claiming Leopold made unwanted sexual advances, screamed at her because of her hairstyle and had her fired after she complained.
“It has been very difficult. It’s been very emotional,” Hamner said.
And now, five years later, it’s over for Hamner’s lawyer.
“So in the end, I’m just happy that it’s over and I got paid,” said John Singleton, Hamner’s lawyer.
“I just thank God that it’s finally here. I think he deserves every penny and more,” said Hamner.
A federal judge has ordered the county to pay Singleton $103,000 for legal fees. That’s on top of the $110,000 the county paid Karla Hamner to settle.
The county may not be done paying because of Leopold.
“Yes, we’re preparing for trial,” said former Leopold employee Joan Harris.
Harris is suing the county, claiming she was fired for blowing the whistle on Leopold’s behavior.
Meanwhile, Leopold has lawyers appealing his conviction and lifting the ban on his being able to hold elective office again.
“It would be a miscarriage of justice for him to be allowed to run for office again,” said Harris.
That feeling is shared by Karla Hamner.
“I think it would be a dire mistake to re-elect Leopold to any office,” she said.
The Court of Appeals is yet to rule on Leopold’s case. Meanwhile, Joan Harris waits for a court date to hear her suit.
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