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Anne Arundel County police chief retiring

Wednesday - 7/11/2012, 3:26pm  ET

By BRIAN WITTE
Associated Press

ANNAPOLIS, Md. - Maryland's state prosecutor said Wednesday his office would close a criminal investigation into Anne Arundel County's police chief stemming from an indictment of the county executive for allegedly misusing his police protection squad, because the chief has decided to retire.

State Prosecutor Emmet Davitt said in a statement that James Teare Sr.'s retirement will be effective Aug. 1.

"It is important to resolve this matter without any further disruption to the effective functioning of the police department at a time when it is reorganizing and the Anne Arundel County Executive is under indictment," Davitt said in the statement. "Our office believes that this resolution is in the best interests of the citizens of Anne Arundel County."

Justin Mulcahy, a spokesman for the county police department, confirmed the chief's retirement, saying in a statement that Teare would have no further comment.

Anne Arundel County Executive John Leopold was indicted in March on four counts of misconduct in office and one count of fraudulent misappropriation by a fiduciary. Leopold allegedly used county police officers assigned to protect him to work on his re-election campaign, to facilitate sexual encounters with a county employee and to conceal his relationship with the woman from his longtime girlfriend, whom he lived with.

Shortly after the indictment, police union members in the county called on Leopold and Teare to resign. Fraternal Order of Police members voted overwhelmingly to express no confidence in Leopold and Teare.

Leopold has vowed to fight the charges against him. On Monday, a judge rejected Leopold's request to throw the case out of court. Leopold's trial is scheduled to begin Sept. 4.

"Chief Teare has notified me today of his intent to leave the police department in order to spend more time with his family, effective Aug. 1," Leopold said in a statement. "I would like to thank him for his long and honorable service to Anne Arundel County and wish him the best of luck in his retirement."

Leopold declined further comment.

On Wednesday afternoon, Leopold appointed Major Pamela Davis to serve as acting chief of police after Teare retires.


(Copyright 2012 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)