The Mayor of College Park in Maryland, Patrick Wojahn, resigned on Wednesday. A few hours after his resignation, Wojahn was arrested by the Prince George’s County Police Department on 56 counts of child pornography.
The 47-year-old mayor is being charged with possessing and distributing child porn after the police traced a social media account flagged by the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children to him. The police seized smartphones, a tablet, a computer, and a storage device from his College Park home during a raid on Thursday.
“Mayor Patrick L. Wojahn submitted his letter of resignation as Mayor of the City of College Park, effective immediately on March 2,” a statement from the city read. “Mayor Wojahn has served in this position since 2015 and on Council since 2007. The City of College Park thanks Mayor Wojahn for his many years of dedicated service.”
Wojahn’s constituency included the University of Maryland campus, and he was serving his second term as mayor before the child porn bubble burst. He won the election as mayor in 2015 and had previously served eight years as a councilman in the city. Police Chief Malik Aziz said he is currently being detained at the county jail.
Aziz said a commissioner will determine whether he should continue to be held or be released on bond or pre-trial. In the case that he was not released on Thursday, he might likely come before a judge on Friday, the police chief stated. Wojahn’s lawyer, David Moyse, said it was too early to comment on the issue, but that his client had been cooperating fully with law enforcement.
“While this investigation does not involve any official city business of any kind, it is in the best interests of our community that I step aside and not serve as a distraction,” Wojahn stated as part of his resignation letter.
College Park city officials expressed dismay at the issue and said they are chilled to their bones over the development. They asked city residents that are perturbed by the incident to seek professional help to be able to cope with the sudden distress. While a special election will be held to select another mayor, Mayor Pro Tem Denise Mitchell will hold the position until another mayor is elected.