Leopold is Found Guilty | Joanna Conti

Leopold is Found Guilty | Joanna Conti

Circuit Court Judge Dennis M. Sweeney convicted John Leopold yesterday on the following two charges of Misconduct in Office: 

Misuse of Executive Police Officers for Political & Campaign Activities

Evidence was presented in court that Mr. Leopold used on-duty police officers to put up and take down his campaign signs, create dossiers on myself and others, and collect campaign checks from donors inside and outside of the county, among other things.  According to the Judge Sweeney’s ruling, the involvement of his executive protection officers in political and campaign activities was so extensive that “at times the officers were working primarily on Leopold campaign activities while on duty”.   The judge concluded:

“By wrongfully taking substantial advantage of free public employee help for his campaign, an asset unavailable to his opponent, Defendant was placing his thumb on the scales of our political system to heavily tilt it in his favor.  These actions robbed Anne Arundel County citizens of the fair political and electoral process they were entitled to receive”.

Misuse of County Employees for Personal Purposes

Judge Sweeney ruled that Leopold’s demands that his appointment coordinator and executive police officers empty his urinary catheter bag on a regular basis for months constitutes criminal misconduct in office as it “demonstrates an overbearing arrogance and sense of entitlement that is unworthy of someone who is supposed (sic) to be a public servant”.  The ruling states:

“This continuing abusive and outrageous conduct exceeded any right that any employer either private or public would have to demand of employees who were hired to perform office or security work. … The fact that Defendant did this in such cavalier and arrogant fashion, especially as it pertains to Ms. Medlin, shows Defendant’s utter contempt for the public employees who worked under him”. 

So What Happens Now?

As a result of these convictions, John Leopold has been suspended from his duties under the Maryland Constitution.  County Administrative Office John Hammond is now serving as the Acting County Executive of Anne Arundel County. 

The County Council is meeting in emergency session at 3:00 this afternoon to introduce legislation declaring a vacancy in the Office of County Executive.  This legislation will be voted upon on Monday, February 4th during the County Council session beginning at 7:00 p.m.  If five of the seven County Council members vote to remove Mr. Leopold, the Council will then be responsible for appointing a new County Executive to serve the remainder of term.   This new County Executive must be of the same party as Mr. Leopold and requires a majority vote of four of the seven County Council members to be appointed.

What Can You Do?

If you believe that John Leopold should be removed from office, please lobby your County Councilman to do so.  In the event he is removed, the Council will be responsible for selecting a new County Executive to lead Anne Arundel County until the next election.  I would strongly encourage you to let your Councilman know your preference. 

And should you wish to make a statement, we have bumper stickers saying “Don’t Blame Me.  I Voted for Joanna Conti”.  If you would like one or more bumper stickers for your car, please order them here

Like you, I look forward to putting this sad and sordid episode behind us.  If a new County Executive is appointed, I sincerely hope the Council chooses a person of integrity with the vision and managerial skills to start reversing the damage John Leopold has done to our County.


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