Defiant Arundel police chief could face arrest for refusing to testify

March 23, 2012|By Peter Hermann

I guess if anything can distract from the lurid indictment of the Anne Arundel County executive, it would be the police chief forced before the council in handcuffs. But that's the scenario unfolding to the city's south.

While a steady parade of Baltimore cops are heading off to federal prison for their role in a towing kickback scheme (the last remaining police defendant pleaded guilty on Thursday), it's Arundel's top cop, James Teare, who is in a showdown with elected leaders.

They want him to explain his role in the John R. Leopold mess -- allegations that officers assigned to protect the executive might have instead collected campaign donations, helped remove campaign signs, ran criminal background checks on political opponents and kept dueling girlfriends apart.

But Teare, through his attorney, is refusing to show up to Monday council meeting, noting that his testimony might undermine the state prosecutor's investigation and could force him to reveal what he told to a secret grand jury.

He could have another motive -- the indictment alleges that cops told Teare about what they were doing for Leopold and he did nothing to stop it.

Read The Sun's Nicole Fuller's account of the latest in this case.

Read complete coverage of the Leopold indictment.

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