County Executive Leopold Resigns

 

The indictment wasn't enough, but it seems a guilty verdict is.  John Leopold had pressure to resign in March when he faced five charges.

On Tuesday, he was found guilty on two counts of Misconduct in Office.  Three days later, he resigned.

"This county has been humiliated for so long and we need a fresh start," said Joan Harris, who filed a civil lawsuit against Leopold.     

A spokesperson for the former county executive said Leopold had someone else deliver the resignation letter to the acting county executive on Friday afternoon. 

It says he acknowledges the "serious errors in judgment" and that it was a "compelling and humbling experience" to sit through the trial.  But he stops short of an apology.

"It's not just a flaw in your judgment.  Why don't you say you're sorry and admit your mistakes and be a man about it," said Joan Harris, who filed a civil lawsuit claiming retaliation.    

Members of the Anne Arundel County Council are ready to move on.  At least one member can look at the good in Leopold.

"John Leopold during his time when we had a very difficult fiscal time served the county in that situation very well," said Councilman Dick Ladd, (R) Anne Arundel Co. Councilman.    

But Councilman Ladd supported a bill that was introduced to vote Leopold out of office before he resigned.

"We're excited that we don't have to take this vote and move forward with that bill on Monday night so that bill will actually be withdrawn," said Council Chairman Jerry Walker.   

Walker says Leopold will be able to keep his pension since he resigned.  

Harris believes stepping down may put him in a more favorable light prior to sentencing.

"I believe that it might have been an attempt to pull some kind of sympathy or look what i did, I stepped down," said Harris.    

A new county executive could take a seat in the next month.  The chairman says he, Councilman John Grasso, and Del. Steve Schuh have thrown their names in the hat.

Any council member who runs can't vote on the position. 

John Hammond is the acting county executive.  He has spent most of his 19 years in county government with the budget office.

A copy of the resignation letter is attached.

 

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