Teare's Attorney: Chief Will Not Testify Before Council
The County Council held a special meeting Thursday in response to the news, but took no action because it was assembled too hastily, the county attorney said.
Anne Arundel County police Chief James Teare Sr.'s attorney said his client will not testify before the County Council even though it subpoenaed him.
The County Council held a special meeting Thursday in response to this information, but held off on approving a resolution that would further compel Teare to attend Monday.
Chairman Derek Fink adjourned Thursday's meeting after less than a minute because Deputy County Attorney David Plymyer advised the council it had not given enough public notice. Thursday’s meeting was arranged on short notice.
“[Plymer] didn’t feel that two hours was enough time,” Fink said at the hearing.
The meeting had been called in response to a letter from Teare’s attorney Gerald P. Martin informing the council that his client would not be coming to the Monday meeting, where he was scheduled to be interviewed.
In Martin's letter, he said Teare’s testimony could interfere with the investigation of County Executive John R. Leopold. Martin also said the council had voted on the subpoena behind closed doors, in violation of public meeting requirements.
“Chief Teare also does not wish to interfere in any way with that criminal investigation, which he might well be by making public disclosures to the Council. Moreover, we believe that your proposed inquiry would also require him to make public disclosures about individual employees—something that would be illegal in light of existing personnel restrictions on such disclosures,” Martin wrote in the letter.
Teare was subpoenaed on Tuesday by the council regarding “political and campaign activities, for theft of campaign materials ... the facilitation of romantic liaisons with county employees, and the misuse of police personnel and resources.”
The special meeting of the council to interview Teare, set for 7 p.m. Monday is still on schedule, Fink said, regardless of what Martin indicated in his letter.
“[Teare] has been subpoenaed. We believe he should show up on Monday,” Fink told Patch after the hearing. “If he chooses to not to show up, then we’ll see.”
Fink denied that any secret council meeting had occurred. He said he and his colleagues held individual discussions on the matter and came to a consensus on the subpoena, but no formal vote was taken.
The County Council has the authority to issue a subpoena “to compel the attendance of witnesses and to require the production of records and other materials in connection with civil investigations, inquiries, or hearings,” according to its charter.
The National Police Union called for Teare's resignation after Leopold was indicted, on grounds that he may have known about illegal activity. Leopold is charged with four counts of misconduct in office and one count of fraudulent misappropriation by a fiduciary.