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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 

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 . 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.

 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  after Leopold was indicted, on grounds that he may have known about illegal activity.  in office and one count of fraudulent misappropriation by a fiduciary.

Mandy Johnson March 23, 2012 at 12:05 PM
Finally, a lawyer who is sane! The County Council are not Judge and Jury in this instance. They are not officers of the court and are overstepping their boundaries attempting investigate and possibly tamper by interference, a criminal case. This entire issue is spiraling into something incredibly ugly, costly and defeats the rights of John Leopold to be remain innocent until proven guilty in a court of law.
DioDingo March 23, 2012 at 05:26 PM
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. Doesn't the CC have this right as listed above? Teare is a county employee and the council is investigating a civil miss use of funds, acts against the county by county employees. The only person above Teare is the CC; they are the authority he has to answer to.
D. Frank Smith (Editor) March 23, 2012 at 06:04 PM
DioDingo, Teare's department answers to the Executive Branch of county government, which is under County Executive John R. Leopold. The County Council is the Legislative Branch, which governs the laws and approves the budget. Section 309 of the county's charter deals with this kind of interaction specifically: "Sec. 309. Noninterference with executive branch. Neither the Council nor any of its members shall direct or request the appointment of any person to or his removal from any office or employment by the County Executive or by any of his subordinates or in any way take part in the appointment of or removal of officers and employees of the County except as specifically provided in this Charter. Except for the purpose of inquiry, the Council and its members shall deal with the executive branch solely through the County Executive, and neither the Council nor any member thereof shall give orders either publicly or privately to any subordinate of the County Executive. Any member of the Council violating the provisions of this section or voting for a motion, resolution or ordinance in violation of this section shall upon conviction be punishable by imprisonment for not more than six months or a fine of One Thousand Dollars ($1,000.00). The violator shall thereafter cease to be a member of the Council."
DioDingo March 23, 2012 at 07:17 PM
So, who is the Vice-Executive? If the Head of your department is under investigation and you were complicit in the alleged transgression then how do we the people get the issue solved...ever. We would never get anything done.
D. Frank Smith (Editor) March 23, 2012 at 07:39 PM
It's a good question, but I don't have a solid answer for you. There's not a vice-executive or anything. But possibly the Chief Administrative Officer?
Jim Davis March 23, 2012 at 08:08 PM
Considering that the Leopold case has a court date and the States Attorney is following through on prosecution anything that came out in Council questioning could only jeopardize the case. Once charges have been filed it is more appropriate to let the legal system do what it is supposed to do. The incessant clamor to try the case in internet innuendo does not do any good, except perhaps make disgruntled Conti supporters and union members feel over important. I might add that the use of "Handles" detracts from any validity of ones argument. It is easy to tear someone down when no one knows your name.
Amy Leahy March 23, 2012 at 10:09 PM
All of the Department Heads are appointed by the county executive, including the Police and Fire Chiefs. The only 'department' that doesn't fall into that category is the Superintendent of Schools. The problem of course is that the police chief is then serving the county executive - taking orders from him - but the fact that he may have been breaking the law would of course be his own decision and he would be culpable.
Amy Leahy March 23, 2012 at 10:11 PM
The Chief Administrative Officer was Dennis Callahan who passed away earlier in the month from a heart attack. The County Executive is answerable to no one except the citizens.
DioDingo March 23, 2012 at 10:25 PM
I was thinking that since their is case against Leopold that and he has not been proven either way then- Yes the chief is correct to not add to the fodder. It may have been good to show up and do like people before congress and give the "I can not answer that question because of an on going investigation" line. By not appearing it gives an appearance of impropriety. Once the Leopold case is settled or goes to the Judicial then he will have to answer wont he. It just looks bad for him when he could have given a true legitimate reason other then not showing up.
DioDingo March 23, 2012 at 10:36 PM
"The incessant clamor to try the case in internet innuendo does not do any good, except perhaps make disgruntled Conti supporters and union members feel over important." (An innuendo is an indirect intimation about a person or thing, especially of a disparaging or a derogatory nature. It can also be a remark or question, typically disparaging (also called insinuation), that works obliquely by allusion. In the latter sense, the intention is often to insult or accuse someone in such a way that one's words, taken literally, are innocent)((For Amy and her "snarky" issues)) What innuendo are you referring to? I have no idea what a Conti supporter is? I try to be reasonable about my my arguments as I continue to cultivate this persona. People who know in life will find my "handle" to be much more rational. Text-only conversations lack the nuance of full human interaction and I don't want people to take things the wrong way and feel they need to lash out. Please feel free to search out my "handle", like you would a person to get a better grip on this persona. Or, go write more Garfield books......you mean your not that Jim Davis! Welcome to the new world.
D. Frank Smith (Editor) March 24, 2012 at 12:38 AM
Nah, John Hammond, former Budget Officer, was appointed as Chief Administrative Officer back in February. http://www.aacounty.org/News/Current/20120222_HammondCAO.cfm
John Smith March 24, 2012 at 03:07 PM
The County Council has the right and the obligation to inquire about the use of County resources within the police department. John Leopold is under indictment, not the Police Chief. If the state prosecutor thought the Council's inquiry of Teare was going to interfere with their criminal indictment of Leopold, he could ask the Council not to proceed. No one has said that's the case. Teare is using this as an excuse to avoid questioning on his inexcusable behavior. If he doesn't appear before the County Council Monday night, he needs to tender his resignation or Leopold should fire him. If he does appear and pleads the 5th, Leopold should fire him. My sympathies to those who work for either of these unethical, immoral men.
Amy Leahy March 24, 2012 at 03:17 PM
Yes, Frank Smith, it was February when Callahan passed away - not earlier this month - and John Hammond was appointed by Leopold to replace him. Leopold still answers to no one except the citizens…and of course now the legal authorities.
John Smith March 24, 2012 at 04:12 PM
Frank, are you suggesting the Council doesn't have authority to conduct this inquiry? The section you posted says in the second sentence "Except for the purpose of inquiry . . ." They can inquire. Teare can not answer. The Council can't fire him or order Leopold to fire him. But at least the public will know what inquiries Teare will not answer, and the Council could certainly express their lack of confidence in Teare's ability to lead the Police Department effectively.
D. Frank Smith (Editor) March 24, 2012 at 04:24 PM
John, no I was merely replying to DioDingo's statement that "The only person above Teare is the CC; they are the authority he has to answer to." Teare answers directly to the Executive Branch, not the Legislative Branch, though they can make inquiries.
jesse55jp March 24, 2012 at 11:10 PM
Leopold and anyone appointed by him needs to go. That is all.

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