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Teare's Attorney: Chief Will Not Testify Before Council

The County Council held a special meeting Thursday in response to the news, but took no action because it was assembled too hastily, the county attorney said.

Anne Arundel County police Chief James Teare Sr.'s attorney said his client will not testify before the County Council even though 

The County Council held a special meeting Thursday in response to this information, but held off on approving a resolution that would further compel Teare to attend Monday.

Chairman Derek Fink adjourned Thursday's meeting after less than a minute because Deputy County Attorney David Plymyer advised the council it had not given enough public notice. Thursday’s meeting was arranged on short notice.

“[Plymer] didn’t feel that two hours was enough time,” Fink said at the hearing.

The meeting had been called in response to a letter from Teare’s attorney Gerald P. Martin informing the council that his client would not be coming to the Monday meeting, where he was scheduled to be interviewed.

In Martin's letter, he said Teare’s testimony could interfere with . Martin also said the council had voted on the subpoena behind closed doors, in violation of public meeting requirements.

“Chief Teare also does not wish to interfere in any way with that criminal investigation, which he might well be by making public disclosures to the Council. Moreover, we believe that your proposed inquiry would also require him to make public disclosures about individual employees—something that would be illegal in light of existing personnel restrictions on such disclosures,” Martin wrote in the letter.

 by the council regarding “political and campaign activities, for theft of campaign materials ... the facilitation of romantic liaisons with county employees, and the misuse of police personnel and resources.”

The special meeting of the council to interview Teare, set for 7 p.m. Monday is still on schedule, Fink said, regardless of what Martin indicated in his letter.

“[Teare] has been subpoenaed. We believe he should show up on Monday,” Fink told Patch after the hearing. “If he chooses to not to show up, then we’ll see.”

Fink denied that any secret council meeting had occurred. He said he and his colleagues held individual discussions on the matter and came to a consensus on the subpoena, but no formal vote was taken.

The County Council has the authority to issue a subpoena “to compel the attendance of witnesses and to require the production of records and other materials in connection with civil investigations, inquiries, or hearings,” according to its charter.

The National Police Union  after Leopold was indicted, on grounds that he may have known about illegal activity.  in office and one count of fraudulent misappropriation by a fiduciary.

John Smith March 24, 2012 at 03:07 PM
The County Council has the right and the obligation to inquire about the use of County resources within the police department. John Leopold is under indictment, not the Police Chief. If the state prosecutor thought the Council's inquiry of Teare was going to interfere with their criminal indictment of Leopold, he could ask the Council not to proceed. No one has said that's the case. Teare is using this as an excuse to avoid questioning on his inexcusable behavior. If he doesn't appear before the County Council Monday night, he needs to tender his resignation or Leopold should fire him. If he does appear and pleads the 5th, Leopold should fire him. My sympathies to those who work for either of these unethical, immoral men.
Amy Leahy March 24, 2012 at 03:17 PM
Yes, Frank Smith, it was February when Callahan passed away - not earlier this month - and John Hammond was appointed by Leopold to replace him. Leopold still answers to no one except the citizens…and of course now the legal authorities.
John Smith March 24, 2012 at 04:12 PM
Frank, are you suggesting the Council doesn't have authority to conduct this inquiry? The section you posted says in the second sentence "Except for the purpose of inquiry . . ." They can inquire. Teare can not answer. The Council can't fire him or order Leopold to fire him. But at least the public will know what inquiries Teare will not answer, and the Council could certainly express their lack of confidence in Teare's ability to lead the Police Department effectively.
D. Frank Smith March 24, 2012 at 04:24 PM
John, no I was merely replying to DioDingo's statement that "The only person above Teare is the CC; they are the authority he has to answer to." Teare answers directly to the Executive Branch, not the Legislative Branch, though they can make inquiries.
jesse55jp March 24, 2012 at 11:10 PM
Leopold and anyone appointed by him needs to go. That is all.

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