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Police chief says alleged Leopold files may violate law

Anne Arundel Co. chief Teare asks state police for assistance

March 22, 2012|By Nicole Fuller, The Baltimore Sun

"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," David J. Holway, president of the organization said in the letter, dated Tuesday. "If the officers cannot trust their chief to protect them from alleged abuse by a public official, then how can citizens trust the chief to protect them?"

Raquel Guillory, a spokeswoman for O'Malley, a Democrat, said Wednesday that the governor's office has not received the letter. Asked if the governor might intervene, she said, "We prefer to let the investigation run its course."

Cpl. O'Brien Atkinson, president of the county's largest police union, the Fraternal Order of Police, said that while an outside investigation is needed, he questioned Teare's motives. Both unions have voted no confidence in both Leopold and Teare and called for them to resign.

"I think on its face it's very clear it's almost being utilized as a diversion of the real issues, which deal with the chief and the county executive," Atkinson said. "I don't believe that any of these officers took any actions without very special and clear orders of direction from someone in the chain of command, up to and including the chief and the county executive."

Councilman John J. Grasso said the chief's request for an investigation was appropriate.

"If that's what he thinks is a good thing to do, so be it," said Grasso, a Glen Burnie Republican. "I happen to like Chief Teare. … If he thinks that's a good thing to do, I trust his judgment."

Baltimore Sun reporter Andrea F. Siegel contributed to this article.

nicole.fuller@baltsun.com

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