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Executive's Job on the Line in Emergency Vote by Council

Anne Arundel County Executive John R. Leopold could be permanently removed from office by a county council vote Wednesday.

The Anne Arundel County Council will meet in an emergency session Wednesday afternoon to introduce legislation that would declare a vacancy in the county executive's office.

The emergency session notice came Tuesday, shortly after the verdict was read in the trial for County Executive John R. Leopold. Based on recent charter amendments, the county council can declare a vacancy if an executive is found guilty and convicted of a felony or a crime involving moral turpitude, misfeasance or malfeasance in office.

Chief Administrative Officer John Hammond is now serving as acting Anne Arundel county executive as a result of the suspension of Leopold from his duties. The Maryland Constitution provides for suspension of an elected official upon a guilty finding in a criminal case. Leopold signed an executive order (attached to this article) declaring Hammond acting county executive.

The County Council will meet at 3 p.m. Wednesday in their chambers, located at 44 Calvert St. in Annapolis.

See more:

  • Voters Set to Approve All Anne Arundel County Charter Amendments
  • Ballot Homework: 15 County Charter Changes You Will Help Decide
  • Slew of County Charter Changes Clog November Ballots
  • Weakness in County's Charter Led to Succession Stalemate

TELL US: Do you think the county executive should be permanently removed from office? Leave a comment to let you know.

Safety first January 30, 2013 at 12:47 AM
Throw the dirty DOG out on his A$$. Thank you Anne Arundel County Court For getting this Pervert off our backs. Now for any County Council Member that votes to keep him in Office on Wednesday remember this. Your political career is in your hands. Vote to keep him in and you will be voted out.
Roberta Salamon January 30, 2013 at 01:46 AM
Absolutely. Also, let's not follow the lead of Baltimore City and reward him with a cushy pension. He abused his office, his power and his subordinates. He does not deserve his pension. Lets be rid of him for good and not permit the reputation of Anne Arundel County get any furthur down in the gutter.
james redding January 30, 2013 at 12:03 PM
when this guy forgot that he was working for us and not us for him, it was time for him to go. hope this is a lesson for all politicians.
Julie January 30, 2013 at 01:13 PM
Absolutely! There shouldn't even be question, he needs to go!
Carol B January 30, 2013 at 01:27 PM
He needs not only to leavc the office in disgrace, without pension or severance--but to be forced to reimburse the citizens of Anne Arundel County for every hour of civil service time that he abused (his own, as well as that of his staffers and the police detail assigned to protect him), and be penalized for jeopardizing the lives and safety of county residents by having police officers act as personal lookouts during his tawdry parking lot trysts, instead of keeping decent people from harm. (One does have to wonder how a 69 year old man sporting a catheter after two back surgeries manages to engage in back-seat calisthenics in the first place, though.) The judge was overly lenient in his verdict. Let's hope he's not so liberal in his sentencing.
Crofton Dude January 30, 2013 at 01:46 PM
Guess it's safe to say we won't be nameing a parkway after him?
KS Pasadena January 30, 2013 at 02:34 PM
It's about time. Actually, it's overdue.
John January 30, 2013 at 03:10 PM
I'm a bit lost on this. Apparently it's up to some kind of vote whether or not he stays. Why can't we have a law that states if any elected official is found guilty of committing a crime that's related to their office/duties they are automatically relieved of that position and any further compensation including pension or any other benefits.
Calique January 30, 2013 at 03:53 PM
Didn't we vote on something like that in the recent election?
Chris Bonneau January 30, 2013 at 04:25 PM
Leopold and his mob crew need to resign. Robey, Hodgson, Friedman didn't just turn a blind eye. They participated in the intimidation misconduct. If these scumbags don't do the honorable thing and resign, I say remove them.
Jeff Andrade January 30, 2013 at 04:36 PM
Last time I checked our constitution, he gets the right to appeal the decision. Given that he was acquitted on the majority of the specious charges, and found guilty on one and half of the 5 -- i.e,, asking an employee to empty his catheter bag when he was recovering from surgery but still doing County work, and having campaign volunteers who were also County employees. I would note that the witnesses who testified considered themselves volunteers, testified that they were not coerced and they did not think what they did was a crime, and there were no specific policies preventing them from doing so. So while it is proper for Mr. Leopold to be suspended pending a final decision, the Council should not move to declare the position vacant until Mr. Leopold has his opportunity to appeal this decision. If the Council moves prematurely, Mr. Leopold would be entirely within his right to challenge that decision in the courts on the grounds of denial of his due process rights and whether these convictions rise to the level of the new, untested charter amendments. If that happens this will become an even bigger circus than it has already become,
Judy January 30, 2013 at 04:38 PM
I totally agree. State and county have enough crooks to worry about. He's such a pig, he belongs in the pound with the other little pigs. Womenizer, who does he think he is? His parents should be a shame of him. I guess his position went to his head. He deserves to lose his job. If it were an ordinary county or state employee - they would have lost their jobs for sexual harassment! I'm telling you - crap like this (and Karma) we'll come back and bite you in your ass! I would have NEVER put up with that - I don't care who he is.
Jerry Aarien January 30, 2013 at 06:36 PM
Leopold and his evil cabinet need to resign. I pray that the convictions are upheld on Leopold and that new convictions will come to Robey, Reiber Friedman and the others. We need justice and since they have the audacity to stay in office, removal is the best option available to the citizens.
Edward Charles January 30, 2013 at 06:40 PM
Leopold made a commitment to repay the County for legal fees if convicted. The County Council should have the Auditor calculate the total cost of the Office of Law's efforts and send Leopold the bill.
Edward Charles January 30, 2013 at 06:41 PM
State Law reads, "upon conviction".
Jeff Andrade January 30, 2013 at 06:59 PM
Actually, Edward you are not correct. Article XV, Section 2 of the state constitution states that "Any elected official of the State, or of a county or of a municipal corporation who during the elected official's term of office is found guilty of any crime which is a felony, or which is a misdemeanor related to the elected official's public duties and responsibilities and involves moral turpitude for which the penalty may be incarceration in any penal institution, shall be suspended by operation of law without pay or benefits from the elective office." It goes on to state that during the period of suspension a person shall be temporarily appointed. Finally it state "If the finding of guilt becomes a final conviction, after judicial review or otherwise, such elected official shall be removed from the elective office by operation of Law and the office shall be deemed vacant. If the finding of guilt of the elected official is reversed or overturned, the elected official shall be reinstated by operation of Law to the elective office for the remainder, if any, of the elective term of office during which the elected official was removed, and all pay and benefits shall be restored." If the Council chooses to pass this bill, it is preempting the State Constitution which specifically establishes a procedure for dealing with such matters. This is nothing more than a power grab by the Council, who want to appoint a new County Executive instead of the one the people elected.
Jeff Andrade January 30, 2013 at 07:20 PM
How much is the politically-appointed State Prosecutor, Emmet Davitt going to reimburse the taxpayers for the costs wasted on the Grand Jury indictment and the 3 and half counts on which Leopold was acquitted? With all the alleged shenanigans and backroom deals we hear of in Maryland politics and campaign finance, can't believe that this is most serious matter requiring their attention.
Edward Charles January 30, 2013 at 08:19 PM
The State didn't commit criminal acts and is serving the public according to their mission. According to the Court, John Leopold is a convicted criminal. Leopold chose to commit those crimes. Let's keep the blame and consequences squarely where they belong with political spin. Leopold committed to repay the cost of the outside defense council. The Council should add the staff costs to the bill and demand payment.
Edward Charles January 30, 2013 at 08:19 PM
correction: .... without political spin.
Jimmy January 30, 2013 at 09:59 PM
Sounds like you would enjoy emptying his catherter bag since you are already up his butt.
Chris W January 31, 2013 at 12:12 AM
There is. And as Jeff points out below, he has the right to an appeal before he is removed from office.
Edward Charles January 31, 2013 at 02:17 AM
The "vacancy" in his judgement and human decency is well documented.
patricia January 31, 2013 at 03:23 AM
If all of the county and state employees are represented buy a union, why were all of these employees afraid of losing their jobs, if they just said NO. I find this bizarre, if you want to blame him and his staff, then you also have to blame the union that was supposed to be protecting them from this type of abuse, isn't that what they were all paying dues for?

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