ACLU: 3 Dossiers Illegally Compiled on Leopold's 'Enemies'

ACLU representative says actions taken are "beyond the pale."

The ACLU says it has confirmed that federal and state databases were illegally accessed to compile data on three of County Executive John R. Leopold's so-called political enemies.

The ACLU announced Tuesday that it has obtained documentation that the National Crime Information Center (NCIC) and state Criminal Justice Information Services (CJIS) databases were used to dig up information on three Anne Arundel County citizens.

Those individuals are:

  • Lewis Bracy, a National Security Agency law enforcement officer
  • Thomas Redmond, a former Anne Arundel County Councilman
  • Carl Snowden, the civil rights director for the Maryland Attorney General's Office

"The facts are clear that employees of County Executive Leopold improperly accessed government criminal history databases for purposes unrelated to law enforcement," said Deborah Jeon, legal director for the Maryland ACLU. "This is just beyond the pale."

Jeon implored Maryland citizens to demand that Leopold and Police Chief James Teare Sr. "come clean" about their roles in the collection of the data.

to answer questions relating to alleged criminal activity surrounding and one count of fraudulent misappropriation by a fiduciary.

Leopold's spokesman, Dave Abrams, declined to comment Tuesday on the allegations.

Three employees that serve under Leopold were named as the sources of the illegal database access, according to the ACLU. 

William H. Hyers, a former Anne Arundel County Police employee, now a contract employee with Leopold's office, used the database to track the criminal history of Bracy in October 2008, according to the ACLU.

Anne Arundel County Police Officer Timothy P. Phelan, once a part-time member of the Leopold's Executive Protection Unit, pulled information on Redmond in September 2008, the ACLU said.

The ACLU also alleged that Anne Arundel County Police Detective Patrick A. Donohue pulled information from Snowden's criminal history in July 2009. Donohue claimed that he accessed the records for criminal justice purposes, but the ACLU has argued otherwise.

Snowden , and has asked for a $20 million settlement. 

Bracy responded to the news on Tuesday through the ACLU, calling the searches "petty." 

"And as a federal employee under the Hatch Act, my political activities have been restricted, so I have never been a political rival to Mr. Leopold—or anyone. To me, these illegal searches are petty," Bracy said.

In an interview with The Capital on Tuesday, Snowden likened the searches to the government surveillance days of former FBI director J. Edgar Hoover.

Bob Hefferon June 07, 2012 at 11:13 AM
The damage seems to be Snowden trying to collect $20million of OUR dollars :(
Rusty Vaughan June 07, 2012 at 01:39 PM
I must be naive. I admit I still have a lot to learn. Would someone please position the issue for me. I thought that it was pretty much determined that Leopold did something that broke the law and for that he has been charged and that is going through the process to determine if it is a fact and if he should be punished or not. How does it figure into the process that he has enemies ACLU, Capital, and the Unions who are out to get him. What has he done to offend them? Are they responsible for some wrong doing too? Did they identify the crime and bring it to light? Had they not done that, would he be innocent. If they created this, that is egregious. Please don't shout back. Please explain.
Amy Leahy June 07, 2012 at 02:21 PM
Rusty, Leopold will go to trial this fall on charges that have been brought against him. The outcome of the trial will determine his innocence or guilt. C.P. Moran obviously is expressing his/her own opinion that Leopold is being targeted unfairly. Even though I'm a Republican I'm not jumping on that bandwagon because I too believe the matter should be handled through the proper channels. Just like Daryl Jones, Leopold deserves his day in court.
John Smith June 08, 2012 at 12:28 PM
The issue isn't just that Leopold may have done something illegal. The issue is that Hyers, who isn't even a police officer anymore, and two other officers may have done something illegal; i.e., access records restricted for law enforcement purposes when there was no law enforcement purpose. The investigation that led to Leopold's indictment did not include Bill Hyers allegedly accessing Lewis Bracy's file, so yes, the ACLU did discover something that wasn't part of the indictment, and I am grateful to them for doing so. If the employees did something illegal, I hope they are investigated and charged criminally if appropriate. When my boss asked me to do something illegal, I said "no" and I lost my job. But I kept my integrity.
Brutus Henry July 12, 2012 at 01:43 AM
King John and his administrators violate the County Charter, the MD Constitution, and the US Constitution on a daily basis. People in this county have voted for the lesser of two evils (the Republicans) and are not better off for it. Just as NY merchants could not differentiate between a Gambino or Genovese mobster extorting their hard earned wages, neither can an Anne Arundel County citizen. King John is the one to thank for the putrid, maggot-filled trash bins smelling up our neighborhoods with the brilliant once a week trash collection. RISE UP PEOPLE!!!


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