The Anne Arundel County Police Department received several checks from the federal government for their role in busting online gambling processors. The most infamous payoff came just six weeks after Black Friday. The image in this article shows two key people in the Anne Arundel government at the time. The man on the far left is John Leopold, former Anne Arundel County Executive. The man on the right is former Anne Arundel Police Chief James E. Teare Sr. Both careers ended over the same incident with one of the men going to jail.
Leopold was found guilty of misconduct for ordering his tax payer funded police detail to interfere with an opponent’s campaign against him in 2010. He also forced his security team to provide transportation to unofficial business. There are also accusations of sexual misconduct and harassment against him. These cases are still open and will likely go to trial when Leopold finishes his criminal sentence. He has served his jail time but has many other sentence conditions to meet before becoming a completely free man.
Chief Teare was repeatedly accused of covering up for Leopold. Many subordinates complained to Teare but they were ignored. The Anne Arundel County Council issued a no vote of confidence while the unions demanded his resignation. Chief Teare eventually resigned while the investigation continued. Remarkably, Leopold was the one that named his successor. Leopold did not resign until three days after his conviction in January 2013.
The US Immigration and Customs Enforcement’s Homeland Security Investigations shared over $470,000 with Leopold and Teare’s county government in June 2011. This money went to the Anne Arundel Police Department and was put into the department’s budget. The sting was called “Operation Texas Hold’em” so presumably this money came from online poker. The Department of Justice admitted later in 2011 that online poker did not violate federal law. State laws probably still applied to online poker in Maryland, though no case has ever gone to trial there. This means that the feds started an investigation over a state law and then paid off Anne Arundel County for enforcing it on a case that was never tried before the money was dispersed.
It is appalling that the department accepted this money from a questionable case and used these two men as their poster boys. It is only fitting that these two disgraced individuals accepted money that was earned in such a disgraceful way.
(Source Credit: Ridgerunner at Two Plus Two brought this to the online poker community’s attention)
(Photo Credit: Tim Lemke of the Odenton Patch)