ANNAPOLIS, Md. - Several people got a turn in front the Anne Arundel County Council, following the indictment of County Executive John Leopold.
"A person of his age having sex in the parking lot, he was too cheap to afford a hotel room," said Lewis Bracy of Hanover.
Leopold is charged with multiple counts of misconduct in office for using his security, Anne Arundel County police officers, to drive him to locations where he had sex with a county employee in a car, to steal campaign signs, and to change his urine collection bag.
"We have so much fraud and abuse in our government it's like living in a communist country," one man said.
Earlier Monday, county police officers voted "no confidence" in Police Chief James Teare and Leopold. The FOP president informed the council, and asked for their support to change the charter.
"No police chief should be beholden to a county executive. That county executive should not have the ability to fire a police chief if the police chief stands up and says we don't have enough police officers," said O’Brien Atkinson, Anne Arundel Co. FOP president.
Atkinson says the executive security officers thought there would be backlash if they complained to the union. But the indictment claims officers went up the chain of command, including to the police chief, and no action was taken.
Republican Councilman John Grasso believes both the executive and the chief have been effective.
"He's done everything that he's said he's going to do and he's kept his commitment to me, so I have no reason to question anything he's done," said Councilman Grasso.
The police chief released a statement, saying "I continue to work well with the FOP and its members. Our police agency’s current leadership will always include accountability-focused, quality of life initiatives, and problem-oriented community policing that is transparent and accessible to the public, media, and the profession.I am honored to serve as Anne Arundel County’s Police Chief and I continue to have full faith and confidence in all police department members and our crime fighting strategy."
The County Council can make recommendations, but they have no authority over the police chief, something the FOP hopes will change.
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