As we all know, John Leopold was convicted and sentenced for misconduct in office and spent 30 days in the jail and 30 days confined to home detention and ordered to perform 400 hours of community service. One of the reasons that Judge Dennis Sweeney sentenced Leopold to jail time, above and beyond the recommendation of the prosecutors was to send a message that this activity was not condoned. Sweeney noted that “It’s our hope now with the resolution of this case that the county can move on, that the county executive’s office can again be an institution of public integrity, public service, rather than a den of depravity, which it appeared it had degenerated to over the last few years.” Leopold himself told Sweeney that I am deeply sorry and ashamed” for his irresponsible failures in judgment.”
And as we know, John Leopold was full of crap.
Leopold, with no hint of shame, remorse, or humility, has gone on a full-throttled offensive against his replacement, County Executive Laura Neuman, while simultaneously trying to take credit for some of the things contained in her budget. Leopold send a long message to all of the local papers droning on and on about all of “his” accomplishments and taking Neuman to task for comments he found “disingenuous” and “feckless.”
Frankly, this is a level of arrogance and a detachment from reality I have absolutely never seen before.
John Leopold is a convicted criminal. He embarrassed himself, he embarrassed this county, and he embarrassed the Republican Party through behavior that was scandalous, distracting, and embodied all of the worst qualities that our opponents often attributed to our side. It’s understandable that Leopold, who has either served in or been running for elected office for the last 45 years, doesn’t really understand that he is no longer welcome in political circles. He has brought shame upon himself and to everybody who he has associated with.
That’s why it makes it even more strange that Leopold found it necessary to show his face at Delegate Steve Schuh’s public announcement of his County Executive campaign last week. Leopold has long been a supporter of Schuh, and prior to his conviction and removal from office was one of Schuh’s most ardent supporters, endorsing him to succeed him in the House of Delegates as well as supporting him as his successor countywide. Does Leopold really believe that his presence (along with the presence of many former Leopold staffers) at Schuh’s announcement event really does anything to help Schuh, particularly when Schuh is likely to face Laura Neuman in what’s shaping up to be a brutally tough Republican primary next June?
Sadly, this is the way that John Leopold’s mind works. The guy who has always thought of himself to be the king of his own domain. The guy who thought that he could get elected alone (which he largely did) and thought that he could away with whatever he damn well pleased as a legislator and as a County Executive (which for a long time he did). He still thinks that he should be a player, and that the Republican Party should cater to his ever delusional whims.
Laura Neuman herself said it best: “At some point, Mr. Leopold will have to come to terms with the fact he is no longer county executive.” Until then, county and state Republicans should tell John Leopold he is not welcome in our party…