The American Civil Liberties Union of Maryland sued County Executive John Leopold Wednesday morning over dossiers allegedly compiled by police officers assigned to protect him, The Baltimore Sun reports.
The lawsuit on behalf of 11 people asks a judge to order Anne Arundel County to turn over the files. They came to light when Leopold was indicted by a grand jury in March. The county executive’s office and the police department are also named in the lawsuit.
Deborah Jeon, legal director for the ACLU of Maryland, says Leopold ordered his executive detail and other county employees to create an “enemies list,” or a group he perceived as political rivals. The list also included women who alleged Leopold harassed or discriminated against them.
Marvenise Harris does not mince words when she describes Anne Arundel County executive John Leopold.
“Disgusting” she says.
Harris filed a complaint against Leopold in 2009. She claims he made a vulgar pass at her in a public cafeteria and wouldn’t take no for an answer.
“Very uncomfortable, humiliating, just awful,” she says.
She became even more disturbed last spring when Leopold was indicted on charges of misconduct and misappropriation. One of the accusations was that he had used on-duty police to do research of a list of enemies, or political rivalries.
Harris was among those allegedly targeted.
“Victimized the second time around,” she says.
Harris is now among 11 plaintiffs in a lawsuit against Leopold filed Wednesday by the ACLU on behalf of those on the so-called “enemies list.”
“This lawsuit is aimed at making sure Mr. Leopold and other elected officials know that it is not okay to collection information, to collection information on private citizens because you want to and you want dirt on them,” says Deborah Jeon.
The lawsuit demands that Leopold hand over the list dossiers.
Harris also wants to send a message:
“That he knows that he can’t do that to anybody else,” she says.