Leopold Running for Office? February Appeal Could Pave the Way

Leopold seeks to overturn misconduct charges that led him to resign from office earlier this year.

Former Anne Arundel County Executive John R. Leopold. (Photo by D. Frank Smith)
Former Anne Arundel County Executive John R. Leopold. (Photo by D. Frank Smith)
Former County Executive John R. Leopold hopes to have his misconduct convictions overturned in an upcoming appeals hearing.

The Maryland Court of Special Appeals will hear Leopold's request to appeal his two counts of misconduct on Feb. 5. Leopold was found guilty of the charges after prosecutors said he misused his security detail, composed of employees paid for by the county.

Prosecutors said Leopold ordered the officers to collect campaign donations, distribute campaign signs, empty Leopold's catheter bag of urine, drive him to sexual encounters in a bowling alley parking lot, pick up his dry cleaning and drop off the morning paper at his home. Leopold was acquitted of three other charges, including one count of fraudulent misappropriation by a fiduciary.

Leopold's attorney, Bruce Marcus, wrote in the 90-page court of appeals brief that the misconduct charges were vague and his client's actions did not constitute criminal behavior.

Through the appeal, Leopold also seeks to remove the provision that prevents him from running for public office while serving his 5-year probation.

After being found guilty of misconduct, Leopold resigned as executive and within three weeks, the Anne Arundel County Council had chosen his successor—Laura Neuman, former CEO of the Howard County Economic Development Authority. Neuman has been serving out the remainder of Leopold's term since Feb. 22 and is seeking reelection in 2014.

Candidates seeking the Anne Arundel county executive's seat in 2014 must file paperwork of their intention by Feb. 25.


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