Arundel deputy chief will talk to council about Leopold

The Anne Arundel County Police Department's second in command has agreed to appear before the County Council on Monday night and answer questions as part of an inquiry into pending criminal charges against County Executive John R. Leopold.

Deputy Police Chief Lt. Col. Emerson C. Davis accepted an invitation from Councilman Jamie Benoit, writing to the council in an email Wednesday afternoon.

"If it is still your desire for me to appear before the County Council to answer questions regarding the police department ... I will accept your invitation," Davis wrote. "If anyone has any questions they believe would require any preliminary research, I would welcome any questions in advance which would provide me with the opportunity to be as thorough with my answers as possible."

The deputy chief ended his email, "Have a great day!"

Davis' appearance before the council will come a week after Police Chief Col. James E. Teare Sr. testified under oath in response to a subpoena. Teare declined to answer most questions, saying he had been advised by his attorney that he would be breaking the law if he discussed incidents he had testified about before a grand jury.

The council did not subpoena Davis, and he will not be under oath. A Police Department spokesman confirmed that Davis plans to attend but said that neither Davis nor Teare would comment.

In an interview Thursday, Benoit, a Crownsville Democrat, said he plans to question Davis about police rules and protocols to determine "how it would typically be dealt with internally, and how it was dealt with in this situation, and if those two things are different, why?"

Benoit added, "I'm not going to try to use Deputy Chief Davis as a straw man to attack County Executive Leopold or the chief. That's not the purpose. … If Chief Teare won't answer our questions, maybe Emerson Davis will."

Leopold, a Republican, was charged this month with four counts of misconduct in office and one count of misappropriation of county funds. A grand jury indictment accused Leopold of directing his taxpayer-funded security detail to perform personal and political tasks, including transporting him to sexual rendezvous with a county employee and compiling dossiers on his political foes.

Leopold has vowed to fight the charges and remain in office. His spokesman declined to comment Thursday.

The indictment also says that Teare was made aware of some of the allegations but took "no effective action." Two county police unions have voted no confidence in Teare and Leopold and called for them to resign.

Councilman Jerry Walker, a Gambrills Republican, said Teare's "unwillingness" to answer questions causes him "great concern."

"I have received numerous phone calls from officers with an intimate knowledge of what appears to be, at a minimum, ethical conflicts and, at a maximum, corruption," said Walker. "I remain concerned that our officers continue to be led by a man that they have clearly stated they do not want as their leader, and while the final decision rests with the county executive as to whether the chief stays or goes, I am going to continue asking questions until I get the answers that I need and the public is demanding."

Councilman John J. Grasso, a Glen Burnie Republican, called Davis' planned meeting with the council a "waste of time."

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