Leopold security officer testifies as probe of executive continues

Grand jury met Tuesday in Annapolis

April 19, 2011|By Larry Carson, The Baltimore Sun

An Anne Arundel County police officer who serves on County Executive John R. Leopold's security detail testified Tuesday before a grand jury, the officer's lawyer said, as the Maryland state prosecutor's investigation into Leopold continues.

Officer Mark Walker, a full-time member of the five-person detail, was subpoenaed to appear in the county courthouse on Church Circle, his attorney, Anton L. Iamele, confirmed as the two men left the grand jury room in State's Attorney Frank Weathersbee's offices around 2 p.m.

Walker was among three of the officers subpoenaed for an appearance in March, but he did not testify that day, Iamele said. Walker had no comment.

Investigators are looking into whether Leopold used county police officers on his security detail to do campaign work. The president of the county firefighters union has said a member of Leopold's detail picked up a $4,000 check from the firefighters' political action committee, an incident that he said investigators asked him about.

The jurors met for much of the day Tuesday, leaving the courthouse just before 3 p.m. State Prosecutor Emmett Davitt, who was also there, declined to comment about the proceedings after he too left the building. It's not clear whether other witnesses appeared Tuesday.

The executive had no comment on Walker's appearance, according to a spokesman. He has retained private attorney Bruce L. Marcus to represent him.

The state prosecutor has subpoenaed Leopold's public schedule since 2008, and the executive released the schedule to the Baltimore Sun earlier this month. He has denied any wrongdoing, though he has acknowledged that members of the detail have done "errands" for him over time, and his spokesman Dave Abrams has pointed out that the officers remained assigned to Leopold for a three-week period last year when he was recovering from back surgery.

Leopold, unlike some other elected officials running for re-election, employed no paid campaign staff during his successful campaign.

larry.carson@baltsun.com

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