Political Animal


March 03, 2012 9:40 AM Republican Pol ‘s Sex Romps in Back Seat of Government-Issue Car

By Paul Glastris

On a winter evening in 2009, a 911 call came in to the police department of Anne Arundel County, Maryland, where the state Capital, Annapolis, is located. “I see some activity going on in the car, and I don’t think it’s proper… . It looks like sexual activity to me,” said the male caller, later adding, “I’m not positive, but it looks like there’s naked people in the car.”

An officer was sent to investigate. He found the car in parking lot of a shopping mall. It was a black Chevy Impala, with the license “County Executive 1.” In the back seat was John R. Leopold, the Anne Arundel County Executive.

Though the car was government-issue, no charges were filed. Leopold, a major Republican power broker in the state who served for decades in the Maryland legislature, dismissed accusations of impropriety as “rumor and gossip.” He was reelected in 2010.

That seemed to be the end of the matter, but it wasn’t. The incident in the parking lot led a number of county employees to come forward with a variety of accusations against Leopold, and yesterday he was indicted on multiple counts of official misconduct.

According to the state prosecutor’s office, Leopold used his county security staff to carry out tasks ranging from the intimate to the demeaning.
To facilitate an affair with an employee of the county’s department of parks and recreation, Leopold had his security staff drive him to commercial parking lots as often as two or three times a week to rendezvous with his lover.
Leopold would order his security officers to leave him at the car of the subordinate and to “remain in the same parking lot, but at some distance away.”
Such meetings lasted 45 minutes or longer, and upon returning to his police escorts, Leopold “at times commented to them in graphic language about his sexual encounter.”
To conceal that relationship from another woman, with whom Leopold lived, the indictment alleges that the county executive went even further in abusing his power when he was hospitalized twice in 2010 for back surgery.
Leopold ordered members of his security detail to work 170 hours of overtime guarding his hospital room to make sure the parks employee never entered his room and encountered his live-in partner.
The overtime tab topped $10,000, according to the indictment.

The indictment also describes Leopold having his police escorts chauffeur him to roadside spots to vandalize his opponents’ campaign signs and, after the back surgeries required him to wear a urinary catheter, ordering his security detail and other staffers to periodically empty the bag.

“In more menial chores,” writes the Washington Post’s Aaron Davis, “members of his police detail were required to run personal errands for him, “including but not limited to” doing his personal banking, picking up his newspaper, delivering takeout dinners, and purchasing and delivering personal gifts from Leopold to others, according to the indictment.

“No one answered the door Friday night at Leopold’s home in Pasadena.”

Paul Glastris is the editor in chief of the Washington Monthly.


  • Perspecticus on March 03, 2012 9:55 AM:

    Not for nothing, but on 9/11 there was an emergency and we called 911. Not the other way around.

  • Hedda Peraz on March 03, 2012 9:58 AM:

    In Other News, Chief of Police is, "Shocked that there is gambling at Ricks!"

  • berttheclock on March 03, 2012 10:10 AM:

    What about the county money spent on the sign he, always, carried with him which read:

    If it's a rockin', don't come a'knockin'

  • AndThenThere'sThat on March 03, 2012 10:16 AM:

    Such meetings lasted 45 minutes or longer...

    Sounds longer than a lunch break to me. If the Parks employee was on the clock, I'd add "paid sexual encounter" to the indictment since county execs oversee Park and Rec budgets.

  • martin on March 03, 2012 10:16 AM:

    As we are paying Loepold to have sex, I'm counting on Rush to demand the videos be released so we can all watch (ick).

    Really, Captcha??? scipant 3:16.

  • RepublicanPointOfView on March 03, 2012 10:21 AM:

    Further proof that republicans are correct that all government is bad and that Grover Norquist is right and that all government should be drowned in a bathtub.

  • berttheclock on March 03, 2012 10:30 AM:

    Interesting career for the 69 year old Leopold. Elected to public office in both Hawaii and Maryland. But, in Hawaii, he was head of Planned Parenthood.

  • me on March 03, 2012 10:33 AM:

    Anne Arundel County government is a total mess right now. One council member is in federal prison for tax evasion and the other jokers can't agree on a replacement. The deadline for a new member as according to the County Charter has come and gone. The replacement has to be a Democrat, and the Republicans want a DINO who tried to donate money to one Republican council member right before the vote. A Republican council member used a racist term for Asians in a public meeting. Most of the Republican members are ridiculous partisans and John Grasso is in my opinion an obnoxious, loudmouthed, crooked, idiotic jerk who thinks only business people (i.e. rich people) should be allowed to hold office. Basically your typical Republican.

  • stan chaz on March 03, 2012 10:50 AM:

    Republi-cants....what a circus. These holier-than-thou clowns just LOVE to tell you what you can’t do. Their campaign slogan should be “No you can’t”. The headlines just keep coming: Republicans condemn condoms! Republicans legislate forced trans-vaginal probes. Republicans tell us to have children of rape ...as a gift from God.  Republicans insult women in hateful word and deed ....degrading women who simply want to plan their families, and control their own bodies. What’s next with these guys? Republicans mandating missionary-position only? Procreation, not recreation...or else?  I really really hate to admit it, but Newt was right. ‘Cause Newt and all his Republican friends SHOULD set up a moon colony.... AND GO THERE! Then they could tell each other what to do, and how to live, and who to love.... and who to hate...while leaving the REST of us alone, in peace, back here on Earth. Newt, I always KNEW that you were a problem-solver. Unfortunately, you and your Republican friends ARE the problem. P.S. We may laugh, and smile, and ridicule...but I know that this is not a game. People that are elected DO affect our lives, and the lives of those we love. It does matter. If I want a find a preacher I go to my place of worship, NOT my voting booth...

  • Sam Simple on March 03, 2012 10:52 AM:

    Nothing will happen to this creep. He will hire the best lawyers money can buy and get off scot-free. Its always the case. If he were a Democrat, his career would be over. Corruption is only fatal to those on the left. For those on the right, it's table stakes.

    By the way, it has already been noted, but an emergency phone call is simply a call to 911 or possibly hyphenated as 9-1-1. Using a slash denotes a date.

  • g on March 03, 2012 11:09 AM:

    A hilariously sordid tale!

    I recall in the 1980s when I was an employee at a state university in the Pacific Northwest, the head of the Medical School engaged in an affair with a staff member. They attended some kind of function, left together, and later that night were arrested while having sex downtown in a car in the railroad yards - somehow the car had gotten stuck off-road and had to be impounded. It was a hilarious news story in the campus paper.

  • Russell Sadler on March 03, 2012 11:39 AM:

    Folks, it's Maryland and it's been going on a long time. Remember Spiro Agnew? What was he before he became Nixon's vice President? Follow the money.


  • artsmith on March 03, 2012 12:00 PM:

    After 12 or so comments, no one at all mentions the delicious irony of him needing back surgery after his back-seat athletics?

  • bluestatedon on March 03, 2012 12:15 PM:

    "Further proof that republicans are correct that all government is bad"

    The only proof that this story provides is that Republican officeholders are generally corrupt hypocrites.

  • Haystack Calhoun on March 03, 2012 12:21 PM:

    Okay, I'm all for taking down corrupt hypocrites, but what kind of meddling prude wastes 9-1-1 and police resources calling in alleged sexual activity in the back seat of someone's car?

  • james on March 03, 2012 12:33 PM:

    @Haystack: the kind of prude who might be concerned someone is being assaulted or raped, who knows that sexual activity in public places (a parking lot is a public place) is generally illegal, or who notices that the license tag says "County Executive 1." Except for that license tag, I might have passed on calling it in.

  • N.Wells on March 03, 2012 1:29 PM:

    No doubt this was merely his honest attempt to evaluate the parking and recreating performances of the Department of Parks and Recreation. :)

  • beejeez on March 03, 2012 1:44 PM:

    Sounds like the incident's publicity is what finally got Anne Arundel County staff around to telling authorities about the pattern of abuses, which no doubt had been going on during the many years in the Legislature. So thanks a lot, Maryland and county officials and staff who knew all along Leopold's modus operandi. Might have been helpful if you'd pointed out his work habits long ago.

  • berttheclock on March 03, 2012 2:23 PM:

    @Haystack Calhoun,

    Consider the following scenario - You are walking across a parking lot of a grocery store. You happen to notice a young nude lady tied up in the back seat of a car. Would you call 911 or have the store employees call 911? Would you be considered a prude for doing so?

    This happened in Portland, Oregon, a couple of weeks ago. Portland police responded to the call, but, were told the vehicle had departed in a certain direction. 13 PPD cars were involved in finding the car. When, they did locate the car, they learned a young couple had put together a "role playing" game and could neither understand the concern of the officers nor why they were being arrested. The people working for the market in North Portland were not amused. The young couple said they had parked the car in several different locations earlier in the day and no one had called the police.

  • slf on March 03, 2012 2:26 PM:

    I suspect that the 911 caller was one of the guys sent off to wait for the County Executive to finish up with Parks and Recreation.