Former Spokeswoman Wins $103K Payment from Anne Arundel County

A former county spokeswoman has won $103,000 in attorney's fees from Anne Arundel County. The fees stem from a sexual harassment lawsuit filed against a former county executive.

A former county spokeswoman has won $103,000 in attorney's fees from Anne Arundel County. File|Patch
A former county spokeswoman has won $103,000 in attorney's fees from Anne Arundel County. File|Patch

A former Anne Arundel County spokeswoman who claimed she was wrongfully terminated in retaliation for a sexual harassment complaint filed against former Executive John Leopold is entitled to $103,000 in attorney fees from the county, a federal judge has ruled.

On Wednesday, U.S. District Court Judge Catherine C. Blake awarded former county spokeswoman Karla Robinson Hamner $103,000 in legal fees, plus $1,225 in costs, reports CapitalGazette.com.

Hamner had sought $175,000, but the court disputed the hourly rate charged by her attorney and the number of hours worked. She had already been awarded $110,000 in a September settlement with the county.

Her attorney, John M. Singleton, was compensated at an hourly rate of $375, according to the opinion. The court ruled in favor of the county by not including the fee hours he spent attending Leopold’s trial.

“While I was a bit disappointed in the amount awarded, frankly it has taken so long I was just happy to get paid,” Singleton told the newspaper.

Hamner sued Leopold in 2010 for sexual harassment and retaliation. She claimed Leopold grabbed her arms and yelled at her for not maintaining eye contact with him. After she complained to Leopold’s chief of staff and personnel director, Hamner said she was transferred to the police departmentd. She was terminated in September 2008.

Leopold resigned in 2013 after he was convicted on two counts of misconduct, which were upheld by an appeals court earlier this year. 

Prosecutors said Leopold ordered police officers or other employees to collect campaign donations, distribute campaign signs, empty Leopold's catheter bag of urine, drive him to sexual encounters in a bowling alley parking lot, pick up his dry cleaning and drop off the morning paper at his home. Leopold was acquitted of three other charges, including one count of fraudulent misappropriation by a fiduciary.

Related stories on the topic:

Court Upholds Leopold's Conviction, Clears Path for Former County Executive to Seek Office

Leopold Running for Office? February Appeal Could Pave the Way


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