Former Anne Arundel County Executive John Leopold was sentenced to two years in jail Thursday, with all but 60 days suspended.
Leopold was ordered to spend 30 days in jail, followed by 30 days of house arrest, plus probation and 400 hours of community service. He must also pay a $100,000 fine.
"When I resigned my office, I took responsibility and I want to do so again,” Leopold said in court. “I am deeply sorry and ashamed. I did not adhere to my standards of conduct."
He was then led from the courtroom in handcuffs after saying goodbye to his girlfriend.
His lawyers appeared surprised the judge was sending him directly to jail without allowing him to prepare for his medical needs and surrender Friday, News4’s Chris Gordon reported.
Leopold's former political aide Carol Vitek was angered that he was taken from the courtroom in handcuffs.
“He's not what you'd call a bad criminal,” she said. “This is awful.”
The sentence pleased prosecutors, who believe it sends a powerful message to the community and elected officials that such behavior won’t be tolerated, state prosecutor Emmett Davitt said.
Leopold was convicted in January of two counts of misconduct in office for forcing his staff to do campaign work and perform personal errands like emptying his catheter bag.
He resigned following the conviction.
The sentence comes two days after prosecutors said they wouldn't request jail time for the 70-year-old Leopold due to his age.
Headed into the courtroom Thursday morning, an attorney for Leopold said the former county executive is "humbled, chastened and profoundly remorseful."
During the sentencing hearing, Leopold's girlfriend, Jane Miller, asked the judge for leniency, saying he made mistakes and exercised poor judgment, but is a good man, Gordon reported.
Earlier in the week, prosecutors recommended a $100,000 fine, five years of probation and 500 hours of community service for Leopold, Gordon reported.
The state prosecutor wrote in a sentencing memo that Leopold's conduct merits incarceration, but he didn't recommend it, citing the 70-year-old's age and health issues, the Associated Press reported earlier this week.
Leopold's attorneys wrote in their memo that his actions were "misguided." They say his decision to resign demonstrated remorse.
- Prosecutors Recommend Against Jail Time in Leopold Case
- New Anne Arundel Co. Exec to be Sworn In
- Leopold Resigns Effective Immediately
- Anne Arundel County Executive Found Guilty of Misconduct
- Leopold Trial Pushed to January
- Prosecutor: Leopold Treated Police Like Personal Servants