Leopold lawyer wants sanctions over harassment suit

County attorney says allegations made without 'substantial basis in fact'

November 10, 2010|By Nicole Fuller, The Baltimore Sun

Lawyers for Anne Arundel County Executive John R. Leopold have asked a federal judge to impose fines on the lawyer representing a former county employee who filed a sexual harassment lawsuit against Leopold.

County Attorney Jonathan Hodgson filed the motion on Nov. 3, asking the court to penalize attorney John M. Singleton, for making allegations without "substantial basis in fact" against Leopold in September in an amended complaint to the lawsuit.

Singleton represents former county employee Karla R. Hamner, who initially filed the $10 million suit against Leopold in August, claiming sexual harassment, gender discrimination and workplace retaliation. Leopold denies the allegations and Hodgson has also moved to have the suit dismissed, an action pending before the court.

Singleton called the motion asking for sanctions against him "frivolous."

"It's just an attempt to bully," said Singleton. Singleton said the request is a legal tactic to prevent him from deposing witnesses.

Hodgson declined to comment. The disputed allegations contained in the complaint say that the Leopold administration interfered with an application she made for a job in the county police department.

U.S. District Court Judge Catherine C. Blake has ordered Singleton to respond by Nov.19.

nicole.fuller@baltsun.com

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