Md. Civil Rights Leader To Sue Leopold

Carl Snowden offers to settle for $20 million; due in court May 3 on marijuana charge

Sunday, Apr 22, 2012  |  Updated 2:53 PM EDT
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Anne Arundel Co. Executive Indicted

Martin Poole /Getty Images

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Anne Arundel Co. Executive Indicted

John Leopold faces charges of serious misconduct in office.News 4's Jackie Bensen has the story from Annapolis.
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The director of the Maryland Attorney General's Office of Civil Rights of will take a sabbatical from his position in order to pursue a lawsuit against Anne Arundel County Executive John Leopold.

An attorney for Carl Snowden announced Snowden's decision to take a sabbatical.

Leopold was indicted last month on charges of misconduct in office relating to how he used his security detail, including allegations that he told police to keep dossiers on political enemies, including Snowden.

Snowden's lawyer, Cary Hansel, says Snowden intends to pursue a lawsuit under laws that permit residents harmed by government officials to seek compensation. Hansel said Saturday he intends to wait a week or two before actually filing the lawsuit. A letter he sent offers to settle for $20 million.

Hansel claims that Leopold's files contained sensitive and private information, including details of Snowden's divorce, arrest records of friends and family, past arrests for driving under the influence, and details of lawsuits Snowden had been involved in. 

The Capital of Annapolis reported Sunday that Snowden had been charged with marijuana possession in Baltimore Friday. Hansel told the paper that Snowden had been pulled over for a broken tail light when officers found a "trace amount" of the drug.

Snowden had previously received probation in 2003 after being arrested by Anne Arundel police on suspicion of driving under the influence. He also received three years probation and a suspended 60-day jail sentence in 2010. That drunk driving conviction was reinstated by an Anne Arundel County judge in February. 

 Snowden is scheduled to appear in court on the drug charge May 3.

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