This afternoon, David Holway, President of the International Brotherhood of Police Officers called for the immediate resignation of both Anne Arundel County Executive John R. Leopold and Police Chief James Teare. The noon press conference was attended by a half dozen representatives of the Anne Arundel County Police Department, union officials, and press.
After the statement, we spoke with Holway who said that this “will make Anne Arundel County the laughing stock of the nation once the news begins to spread.” The intent of the Union is to put additional pressure on the County Council, State Legislature and the Governor to call for the resignation.
When asked about Teare and his inaction, Holway reiterated his call for his resignation. “If he knew what was going on and did nothing, he needs to turn in his badge. If he did not know what was going on, he doesn’t deserve to be Chief.”
Holway stated that while this situation is unique and that he had never heard of such audacity, the standard outcome is that an indicted leader either resigns, is forced out of office, or is censured. The Anne Arundel County charter does not currently have a simple mechanism to remove Leopold or Teare based on the indictment.
We spoke with Leopold’s office which issued the following response to Mr. Holway’s statement:
I have no intention of resigning. This union wants pay increases at the expense of other County employees and taxpayers. I made a commitment to treat all employees equally and live within our means, and I intend to do so. The crime rate is down thanks to Chief Teare and our police officers, who are doing excellent work under trying circumstances. We hope to reward them when the economy improves.
The text of Holway’s statement is below:
Hello. My name is David Holway. I am the President of The International Brotherhood of Police Officers- I am here today to urge County Executive John Leopold and Police Chief James Teare to step aside in interest of public safety and public confidence in government, while the charges against Mr. Leopold are adjudicated.
Nowhere in the United States would a government leader be allowed to go on ‘with business as usual’ after a string of indictments by a grand jury of any magnitude, never mind the mind-boggling charges leveled against Mr. Leopold.
Any public leader whose number one concern is to provide services to an electorate would understand, and the deep impact these indictments have on the public’s confidence in government. Any rational leader would do ‘what is right’ and pass their duties on to someone else. No one is indispensable.
It would appear that Mr. Leopold thinks he can weather the storm and ride out the process without having to give up the perks of his office that he allegedly cherishes.
Mr. Leopold is just plain wrong – government services are important, and people do care about the integrity of those who are entrusted to deliver them.
Mr. Leopold will be too busy with his own defense to properly manage the county government. It is time for him to realize that not only is it in the county’s best interest but in his own best interest to step aside – today.
The great women and men of the Anne Arundel Police Department also care about the integrity of their leaders – the county administrator and the chief – are of the same high moral fiber as they are. On the streets, these men and women are constantly experiencing the public’s concern about what is going on. Their jobs are tough enough without this type of distraction.
Which leads us to Chief Teare. According to published reports, the Chief was well aware of Mr. Leopold’s misuse and indeed abuse of his police security detail. I am sure the Chief will be on the witness list at Mr. Leopold’s trial. If there is any basis for the published reports of the chief turning a blind eye to the County Administrator’s alleged shenanigans, then I say ‘shame on the Chief.’
The Chief should also do the right thing and turn in his badge if in his heart he knows his alleged cover-up is indeed true.
Both of these leaders should do what is right by the public they are sworn to serve and step aside.