Isle GOP leader from 1978 accused of sex-harassment in Maryland


POSTED: Sunday, June 21, 2009

Question: What ever happened to John Leopold, a former state legislator and Hawaii's unsuccessful 1978 Republican candidate for governor?

Answer: Leopold is now holding public office in Maryland and battling charges of sexual harassment.

Leopold was elected Anne Arundel County executive in 2006 after serving for 20 years in the Maryland General Assembly.

This year, Leopold has been accused of sexual harassment and propositioning a state worker for sex. Then there was an odd report involving Leopold at a shopping mall in February.

The Anne Arundel County police responded to a 911 call that someone was engaging in sexual acts in a car outside a shopping mall. Police discovered that the car belonged to the county and sitting in the back seat was Leopold, according to the Washington Post.

Reports did not say if anyone else was in the car.

“;The parking lot story was a non-story because the police found the county executive alone and fully clothed, and the anonymous call to police was unfounded,”; said David Abrams, with the county office of public information.

That story was the first in a series of news articles about Leopold.

In March two women who worked for Leopold while he was in the Assembly criticized Leopold.

One former employee said Leopold would ask her to track down women he met at community functions and ask for meetings with them or to call his private phone line. The other woman complained that Leopold badgered her for a date even after she told him she was married and had children.

The information came out in a complaint filed by a third woman, a county employee, Marvinese Harris, who said Leopold repeatedly asked her for a date while at a county cafeteria.

And a fourth woman, who once was Leopold's county spokeswomen, also filed a complaint with the Maryland Commission on Human Relations, saying Leopold grabbed her by the arms and yelled at her about her hair.

“;The harassment claim by Ms. Harris was dismissed within 24 hours. And to date Mr. Leopold has not received a single formal complaint about his conduct.

“;He is determined to continue to work for the citizens every day and seek another term as county executive based on a lengthy record of accomplishment,”; Leopold's spokesman said.

Leopold served on the Hawaii state school board from 1968 to 1970 and as a Republican in the state Legislature from 1970 to 1978.

Star-Bulletin staff update was written by Richard Borreca. You can write us at What Ever Happened to… Honolulu Star-Bulletin, 500 Ala Moana, Suite 7-210, Honolulu 96813; call 529-4747; or e-mail .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address).