One of Maryland's highest-ranking Republicans, Anne Arundel County Executive John R. Leopold, has been indicted on charges of using his taxpayer-funded security detail for personal and political gain.
According to The Washington Post, Leopold allegedly instructed officers to transport him to commercial parking lots and wait while he entered a different vehicle and engaged in sex acts with another county employee.
The Post reports:
The indictment’s most salacious details, however, revolve around Leopold’s alleged use of his security detail to facilitate regular trysts with another county employee.
The encounters often occurred two or three times a week during the second half of 2010, according to the indictment.
Suspicion about such activity had surfaced in early 2009, when a county police officer responded to an anonymous 911 call reporting possible sexual activity in a parked car and arrived to find Leopold in the back seat.
The officer called the dispatcher shortly afterward to say that the original report was “unfounded,” but neither police nor Leopold would provide further details at the time about why he was in the back or whether anyone was with him.
The report also states that twice, when Leopold was admitted to a hospital for back surgery, he instructed a county police officer to work overtime in order to prevent a mistress from crossing paths with his live-in partner.
According to the state prosector, the cost to the Anne Arundel County police for the hospital stays exceeded $10,000.
Leopold also allegedly had officers perform campaign-related functions like picking up and dropping off campaign contributions as well as maintain dossiers on several of his political opponents. The indictment was handed up Friday by an Anne Arundel County grand jury and the 69-year old Leopold now faces four counts of misconduct in office and one count of fraudulent misappropriation by a fiduciary.
He has not been arrested, however.
The Post adds:
The Office of the State Prosecutor said a criminal summons was sent to Leopold’s attorney. The misappropriation charge is a criminal misdemeanor that could carry one to five years in jail. The remaining charges allege common-law violations, which means a judge could have wide latitude in sentencing if Leopold is found guilty.
In an e-mailed statement to reporters, he said, “While we have not yet seen the charging document, we understand that the charges contain scurrilous, salacious and scandalous accusations better suited to cheap tabloids and not befitting charging documents filed in a Maryland court of law.”
Marcus, an attorney for the Maryland Democratic Party, also suggested that Leopold would not step down:
“The public should have confidence that John R. Leopold has a well-documented history of exemplary public service. . . . The citizens of the county can look to Mr. Leopold’s successes achieved and have confidence that Mr. Leopold will continue to well and truly serve their interests during the days ahead.”
According to the Post, Leopold served 20 years in Maryland’s House of Delegates and was also a member of Hawaii's House of Representatives in the 1970s.