John Leopold misconduct trial begins in Annapolis

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Local,Maryland,Associated Press

ANNAPOLIS, Md. (AP) -- The trial of a Maryland county executive accused of misconduct for using police officers to do campaign and personal tasks has begun.

Attorneys made their opening statements Friday in the trial of Anne Arundel County Executive John Leopold.

Prosecutors say the Republican used police officers assigned to protect him to work on his re-election campaign, to facilitate sexual encounters with a county employee and to conceal his relationship with the woman from his longtime girlfriend. In his opening statement, a prosecutor said Leopold misused the power of his office.

But Leopold's attorney said that while his actions may have been in poor judgment or lack social grace, they do not rise to the level of criminal conduct.

The trial is expected to last about two weeks.

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