Fearnow makes second bid for mayor

January 23, 1997


Staff Writer

Republican Leon C. Fearnow, who received 37 percent of the vote in the 1993 Hagerstown mayoral election, filed Thursday for another chance at the mayoral post.

Fearnow, 55, of 627 N. Mulberry St., said he considers the mayor's job to be an ambassador for the city.

"I'm not going to make a whole lot of promises I can't keep," Fearnow said. If elected, he would make suggestions and oversee issues for the city, but it is the City Council that has the power and the votes, he said.

If elected, Fearnow said he would keep his full-time job as security coordinator for Boat America Corp. on Longmeadow Road where he has worked for three years.


But, if the mayoral job demanded more time, his first priority would be the city, he said.

The Williamsport native served the city for 26 years as a member of the Hagerstown Police Department until he retired in 1992.

He ran Leon's Hoagie Shop at 59 W. Franklin St. from 1980 until 1993, when he had to sell the shop and his home to pay the state of Maryland between $65,000 and $70,000 in sales tax that the state said he owed.

In 1987, Fearnow filed a lawsuit against former Police Chief Clinton Mowen and four fellow officers over a 1983 wiretapping incident at police headquarters.

In the suit, he claimed his telephone was illegally bugged during an investigation of "leaks" on sensitive police investigations, specifically about gambling activities.

Fearnow settled the case with Mowen and two of the officers. He dropped charges against the other two officers.

A jury in a civil suit Fearnow filed against C&P Telephone Co. and a former C&P employee resulted in a ruling against Fearnow. An appeal by Fearnow failed.

If elected, Fearnow said he wants to see more services downtown for the older people who live in the area. That includes a grocery store and a shop that sells affordable clothing, he said.

Fearnow said he was concerned about the city's $9.96 million debt to the Maryland State Retirement Agency.

"I can't believe this came up at this time and wasn't known about before," he said.

Besides the planned ice rink for the Hagerstown Fairgrounds, Fearnow said he wants to see a sporting complex and, if affordable, a civic center on the 68 acres of green space.

Fearnow is a 1959 graduate of Williamsport High School. He has an associate's degree in law enforcement. He served the U.S. Navy for four years before joining the police department.

As of Thursday, three other candidates had filed for mayor. They are incumbent Democrat Steven T. Sager and Republicans Robert E. Bruchey II and Dennis L. Duffey.

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