Anne Arundel County Executive John Leopold’s chief of staff took the stand Wednesday in Leopold’s misconduct trial.
During Erik Robey’s testimony he said that while working for Leopold he spent time tracking down a mistake made by a campaign contributor, and that Leopold had asked a county security officer to drive by a certain location to see if campaign signs were up.
During this time Robey also said he arranged a robocall message for Leopold’s 2010 campaign, coordinated fundraising events, put up campaign signs, recruited volunteers and helped set up TV advertising for the Anne Arundel County Executive.
After consulting with police, Robey said he didn’t tell Leopold that county employees placing campaign signs was illegal.
During his testimony he mentioned 3 others, along with himself, who worked on the Leopold campaign and were later offered county jobs or promoted.
Robey also said that employees were never required to make contributions to the campaign.
Cpl Mark Walker also took to the stand Wednesday, saying he ran personal errands for Leopold, like depositing personal checks, picking up laundry, and driving to Leopold’s girlfriend to drop off a newspaper.
Walker also said Leopold told him to put up campaign signs in the county and “ to go to the far corner of the parking lot and wait for him," in reference to encounters with Connie Casalena. He said he was also told to do whatever made Leopold happy as long as it wasn't illegal, immoral or unethical. Walker does not believe that campaign activities were illegal.
Casalena, who was in the courtroom, is Leopold’s alleged sexual partner, who he wanted to hide from his live-in girlfriend.
Karla Hamner, Leopold’s spokesperson during his first term, was also in court today. Hamner has filed a civil lawsuit against Leopold, claiming gender discrimination, sexual harassment and retaliation.
Leopold is facing charges of misconduct in office for allegedly using his police detail for personal and political reasons.
The indictment handed up by the state prosecutor accuses the county executive of using county police officers assigned to his detail to run errands, conceal an affair, and stand watch while he had sex in county parking lots.
The indictment also alleges Leopold had the officers drive him around so he could remove campaign signs of his 2010 challenger, who he narrowly defeated.
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