Teare Testifies Before Council, Refuses Most Questions

Chief said he doesn't want to impede grand jury investigation.

After being , the county's police chief said he would not answer any questions that were subject to the grand jury investigation into County Executive John R. Leopold.

Anne Arundel County Police Chief James Teare Sr. was sworn under oath on Monday, but said he couldn't answer questions that would put him in violation of secrecy laws protecting grand jury investigations.

"I do not want to break the law, so I respectfully decline to answer questions which require me to do that," Teare said.

Teare's attorney Gerald P. Martin said his client appeared on Monday night "to demonstrate respect for the council," but Martin called the subpoena "erroneous." Martin said the council would need to get a judge to issue the subpoena, because any testimony Teare gave could undermine a .

"I don't think [Teare] would risk talking about them until someone gets a court order from a judge that says the grand jury secrecy law doesn't apply, so you can go ahead," Martin said.

While under oath, Teare refused most questions from council members. Councilman Jamie Benoit (D-4th District) did get Teare to comment on some factual matters concerning the ethics policy his police officers must abide by. Questions of specific incidents involving Leopold were waived at Martin's advice.

Councilman Jerry Walker (R-7th District) took Teare to task over in their police chief and Leopold. 

"Why would you continue to want to be in a position when your folks underneath you have no desire to serve under you?" Walker asked.

"I serve with great distinction and honor. I am honored to be the chief of police," Teare replied.

"But they don't want you as their chief," Walker said.

"Thank you councilman," said Teare.

Councilman Peter Smith (D-1st District), who was sworn into office just 30 minutes before the interview with Teare, did not have any questions for the police chief.

The County Council is set to reconvene at their next scheduled meeting on April 2.

jesse55jp March 27, 2012 at 03:18 PM
The firefighters don't want their chief either. Never have. Hopefully he will go too but the egos among the two and Leopold are too big. 2 out of 3 are personally awful human beings.
Richard Hertz March 28, 2012 at 04:26 AM
"I serve with great distinction and honor. I am honored to be the chief of police," Teare replied. And he is even more honored to collect a nice salary...that he will not easily give up...even if the officers in his command don't want him.
DioDingo March 28, 2012 at 02:48 PM
If he didn't do anything wrong and the level of protection is where it should be then he shouldn't leave, even if the rank and file don't want him. If he serves at the pleasure of the County Executive then we have to wait until we get a new one. We have to wait for the facts. We may not be happy about it but we do have a system and we should work inside that system.
Tony July 11, 2012 at 02:07 PM
Glad to see Teare finally resigned. Took too long...


More »
Got a question? Something on your mind? Talk to your community, directly.
Note Article
Just a short thought to get the word out quickly about anything in your neighborhood.
Share something with your neighbors.What's on your mind?What's on your mind?Make an announcement, speak your mind, or sell somethingPost something
See more »