LIVE BLOG: The Leopold Trial — Day 4

| January 24, 2013 | 2 Comments

Today is the fourth day of testimony in the trial of Anne Arundel County Executive, John R. Leopold, who was indicted in March on four counts of misconduct in office and one count of fraudulent misappropriation. The indictment alleged that Leopold used his executive security detail for personal and political gain. He has pleaded not guilty. Leopold has opted to be tried by retired Judge Dennis M. Sweeney, a retired Howard County Circuit Court Judge. Sweeney also presided over the trial of former Baltimore Mayor, Sheila Dixon.

This is a live blog and commentary will be updated as it happens in the courtroom. There is no need to refresh the page. The trial will get underway at 9:00am.

This live blog (and future ones) will be factually correct; however, it will be presented casually as commentary with heavy doses of opinion, humor, and even a little bit of snark.  For traditional reporting of the trial, we recommend that you check out the stories from Allison Bourg of the Capital Gazette and Anna Staver of the Annapolis Patch.

You are on Twitter…right? If not you should be. Please follow us (and others) on Twitter. The hashtag for the trial is #leopold.  Other media representatives covering the trial are also tweeting and you might as well follow them too. @abourg_capital, @annapolispatch, @melserwbal, @johnaaromwtop, @annyswapo, @amaxsmith, @jlepolastewart, @cherylconner, @andsiegel and @annapolisscott.

Please read our recap of opening day , day 2, and day 3 as well as our live blog from the second and third day. (Note: there is no live blog from the first day, we installed the software after the first day).

Leopold Banner

John Frenaye January 24, 20133:41 pm

Will resume tomorrow at 9am

John Frenaye January 24, 20133:40 pm

State rests. Dismissed.

John Frenaye January 24, 20133:39 pm

Critical testimony from Amy Schreve. She never verified what the officers were doing during the time in question or overtime. So we do not know if they were doing legitimate overtime or personal work for Leopold.

Defense says her math is good, but the investigation poor.

John Frenaye January 24, 20133:30 pm

On cross examination, her calculations are disputed and her methods of investigation questioned.

John Frenaye January 24, 20133:29 pm

Prosecution questions will be hard to hear. Very soft voice.

They went over a spreadsheet seemingly cell by cell to tally overtime costs. Costs for OT for two hospital says is about $10,000.

No more questions from prosecution.

John Frenaye January 24, 20132:46 pm

Short recess and then ext up is Amy Schreve with the state prosecutors office.

John Frenaye January 24, 20132:45 pm

Note on Fulton. Questioned about merit status tied them into the Law Enforcement Officers Bill of Rights which takes Leopold out of the loop. He could not fire them even if he wanted.

John Frenaye January 24, 20132:39 pm

Cross examination, testified that officers were merit status employees and subject to officers bill of rights. She was dismissed after simply stating the facts.

John Frenaye January 24, 20132:32 pm

Fulton was provided payroll records of officers and asked to verify them.

She was then questioned at length by prosecution about overtime rules including if there was a minimum number of hours paid when called in on day off.

Prosecution has no more questions.

John Frenaye January 24, 20132:19 pm

Up now is Andrea Fulton. Personnel officer for AACounty.

John Frenaye January 24, 20132:17 pm

Cross examination, defense has him testify that the EPU never contacted hospital to enact the VIP policies.

He’s done.

John Frenaye January 24, 20132:16 pm

He testified to policy of VIPs for prosecution. Not much.

John Frenaye January 24, 20132:12 pm

Up now, Sgt. Rodney Gettman. Guard/shift commander at hospital.

John Frenaye January 24, 20132:07 pm

Reigle, treasurer of Leopold’s campaign/campaign manager was shown campaign reports and testifies someone else fills out reports and he signs. Leopold and Reigle were signatories on Bank of America accounts.

Testified Leopold controlled checkbook, but he was signatory as well. Verified some checks. Was dismissed without any cross examination.

John Frenaye January 24, 20131:49 pm

After lunch break, next witness is Steve Reigle.

John Frenaye January 24, 20131:48 pm

Defense cross examining him. Not much there

John Frenaye January 24, 201312:12 pm

Prosecution introduced Conti”s application for candidacy and Leopold’s campaign finance reports. He testified they were legit and Leopold’s balance showed about $500k. No further questions from state.

John Frenaye January 24, 201312:02 pm

Jarred DeMarinis, Director of MD State Board of Elections up next after short recess.

John Frenaye January 24, 201311:59 am

Damn browser glitched, lost commentary. He was released at 11:53am. But defense chewed him up about his approval of overtime and his assumption it was all legitimate. Also aked why he took immunity if he still believed his actions were legal. He vehemently said he reported all complaints to Chief but got no response. Also vehemently stated he expressed his displeasure, but when asked why he did not resign, there was no answer.

At the end an SOP materialized for diplomatic protection, went back and forth, but I believe it could not be verified that it was in effect, was ever in effect, if it was draft, etc.

There were so many bench conferences. According to one observer this was conference 41.

John Frenaye January 24, 201310:49 am

Phelan testifies that he left executive protection detail due to stress and remained part time.

Stated he continued to drive Leopold through 2010 but part time and primarily to events. He also said he had to deliver paper to doorstep by 7am which was a 45 minute trip, one-way, from his home. Sgt. states he lives in Lothian.

Testified that the weekend trips took him to Pasdena for paper delivery, followed by several hours waiting to take Leopold to regular lunch places–Double T diner on Saturday and Golden Corral on Sunday. All time was overtime since it was day off.

Phelan testified that Leopold stopped him from assembling a campaign sign stating he (Leopold) needed to be the one to do that.

Testified that a woman named Connie was at an event and Leopold instructed him to make sure Connie did not approach him.

Leopold questioned Phelan on various community buildings and if they had cameras. Leopold visibly squirmed when this came out.

Done with examination time for cross examination.

John Frenaye January 24, 201310:17 am

Name correction. Sgt. Timothy Phelan.

John Frenaye January 24, 201310:16 am

First witness, Sgt. Stacy Phelan. Was supervisor of Executive Protection Unit. Has been with PD since 1995.

John Frenaye January 24, 201310:07 am

Court is now in session.

John Frenaye January 24, 20139:49 am

Ok, hot chocolate done. Ready to resume trial in a few minutes.

John Frenaye January 24, 20138:55 am

Due to the weather, court has been delayed and the trial will resume at 10am. But for now, hot chocolate at 49 West is. It thing the spot. Say tuned.

Tags: , , , , , , ,

Category: Breaking News, Crime News, 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.