This afternoon, the trial of Anne Arundel County Executive John R. Leopold came to a close when retired Howard County Circuit Court Judge Dennis Sweeney found John Leopold guilty.
Leopold was initially indicted in March 2012 on 5 counts, 4 for misconduct in office and 1 for misappropriation of taxpayer’s funds for using his security detail for personal reasons. Since the indictment, Leopold has kept mum on the case saying that he looked forward to proving his innocence in court. On Friday, Judge Sweeney tossed one of the misconduct counts associated with removing the campaign sign of a political opponent citing that Leopold was acting as a “private citizen” during that act and not as County Executive; therefore it could not be considered mis-conduct in office.
It is likely that Leopold will appeal.
This trial is not the end of woes for John Leopold, he is facing several civil lawsuits alleging harassment and retaliation from former employees of the County and another one from Carl Snowden and the ACLU for maintaing a political dossier on the embattled civil rights activist.
This is a breaking story and we will be working to get more details, photos, and an interview with the defense and the prosecution.