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County police chief refuses to testify in scandal probe

Veronica Robinson, wtop.com

WASHINGTON – Anne Arundel Police Chief James Teare is refusing to testify at an inquiry scheduled by the County Council surrounding his part in a corruption scandal.

The scandal surrounds County Executive John Leopold who has been indicted on corruption charges.

Among the things he’s accused of: having county police officers, acting as his security detail, act as lookout while he had sex in county parking lots.

Councilman Jamie Benoit says he wants to know “What the chief knew when, what action if any he took..and it will inform our judgment as to whether or not the chief can continue on as the chief of police”.

“I expect after that hearing, council will probably take some sort of public action either supporting or calling on the chief to step down,” Benoit added.

The county council can’t fire Teare because he was appointed by Leopold. The council would have to take court action to have Teare arrested.

Benoit says a judge would have to issue a “body attachment” that would let the sheriff arrest Teare. But Benoit and County Council Chairman Derek Fink don’t think it will come to that. They think Teare will give in and testify –probably not on Monday–but on Thursday .

Benoit says “the chief is just trying to delay. He’s doing everything he can to get to May 1st when he’s due to get over a quarter million dollars in one lump sum”.

That bonus is part of a special deferred retirement plan. Teare is a month away from retiring.

Teare’s attorney, Gerald Martin didn’t respond to WTOP’s requests for comment.

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