Anne Arundel Executive Accused Of Sexual Harassment

| May 8, 2009 | 14 Comments

Two Women Come Forward And Accuse John Leopold Of Sexual And Physical Harassment

Maybe there was some truth to the car at the mall story after all.  The Washington Post is reporting that two separate women have charged Leopold with sexual and physical harassment.

County Executive John R. Leopold, now accused of physical and sexual harassment on the job. Two women come forward. Are there more to come?

County Executive John R. Leopold, now accused of physical and sexual harassment on the job. Two women come forward. Are there more to come?

Cafeteria pick up

In one case, an African American State employee rejected Leopold’s repeated advances in the County Cafeteria on April 30, 2009, in front of five witnesses.  In a letter to the State and to the NAACP, the employee Marvenise Harris explains that Leopold asked for her  name and lifted up the work badge hanging around her neck to look at it. Then he asked whether she was married, and when Harris told him she was single with two children, Leopold responded, “a nice looking woman as yourself?”

Leopold apparently asked for her personal phone number and she explained that she did not date out of her race. when Leopold said that it did not need to be “a date”. The letter states that ” I felt at this time he was propositioning me for sex.” According to the letter, the encounter ended when “Leopold said, ‘you mean to tell me you are going to turn down all of this,’ he took his hand and [waved] it from his shoulders to his private area.”

Shades of Linda Tripp

In the other case, Karla Hammer, a former spokesperson alleged that Leopold became obsessive with the way she wore her hair and at one point on April 16, 2008, physically grabbed and shook her and yelled at her to keep the hair out of her face. She reported the incident to the County, requested and received a transfer to a different department, and was summarily dismissed three months later. Subsequently, Hammer has been unable to find work and has relacted to Arkansas.

Both women are pursuing all legal options against the Executive and the County.

When Leopold was questioned earlier this year about an incident at the Annapolis Mall, he brushed it off and refused to comment on it. It may have gone away temporarily; but it is sure to be resurrected in light of these new charges.  We always felt there was more to that story than met the eye and it appears that John Leopold may indeed need to come forward with some answers!

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Category: Breaking News, POLITICAL NEWS

About the Author ()

John is the publisher and editor of Eye On Annapolis. As a resident and business owner in Anne Arundel County for more than 15 years, he realized that there was something missing in terms of community news--and Eye On Annapolis was born in late spring 2009. John's background is in the travel industry as a business owner, industry speaker, and travel writer. In terms of blogging and social media, he cut his teeth with MSNBC.com.