The Democrat mayor of College Park, Maryland, was arrested for possessing and distributing child pornography just one day after stepping down from his position.
Mayor Patrick Wojahn was arrested on Thursday.
He is facing a total of 56 charges related to child pornography.
Prince George’s County Police Department announced in a press release, “on February 17, 2023, the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children notified the PGPD that a social media account operating in the county possessed and distributed suspected child pornography.”
“The image and videos had been uploaded to the social media account in January of 2023. Through various investigative techniques, PGPD investigators discovered the social media account belonged to Wojahn,” the press release added.
On February 28, a warrant was served on the home of Democrat mayor were police seized a hard drive, multiple cell phones, a tablet, and a computer containing child pornography.
“Wojahn is charged with 40 counts of possession of child exploitative material and 16 counts of distribution of child exploitative material. He is in the custody of the Department of Corrections,” the press release continued.
Although Wojahn possessed massive amounts of child pornography, police said there is currently no indication the mayor produced any of the material himself.
“We send a clear message to anyone involved in this type of material that units like this are looking, they’re working every day to make sure that we have a safe county and a safe state,” said Prince George’s County Police Chief Malik Aziz during a press conference.
Wojahn’s case is now the subject of an open and active investigation and police are asking for anyone with information to come forward.
The department added that “callers wishing to remain anonymous may call Crime Solvers at 1-866-411-TIPS (8477), or go online at www.pgcrimesolvers.com, or use the “P3 Tips” mobile app (search “P3 Tips” in the Apple Store or Google Play to download the app onto your mobile device.) Please refer to case number 23-0009239.”
The City of College Park released a statement: “Last night, after business hours, Mayor Patrick L. Wojahn submitted his letter of resignation as Mayor of the City of College Park, effective immediately on March 2. 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.”
“Effective immediately, Mayor Pro Tem Denise Mitchell will serve as presiding officer until a Special Election is held and a new Mayor has been sworn in. Per the City Charter, a Special Election must be held within 65 days,” the statement added.
“The City’s Board of Election Supervisors will convene to schedule the date of the Special Election. Details about the upcoming Special Election, including candidate packets and voting information, will be posted on the City’s website at www.collegeparkmd.gov. The candidate elected as Mayor in the Special Election will serve until the next Mayor is seated following the November 5, 2023 General Election,” the statement continued.
A copy of Wojahn’s resignation letter was obtained by ABC 7, which read:
“It has been a profound honor and privilege to serve the City of College Park since 2007 as a City Councilmember and your Mayor. However, effective immediately, I must resign my position.”
“On February 28, 2023, a search warrant was executed on my residence as part of an ongoing police investigation. I have cooperated fully, and will continue to cooperate, with law enforcement,” it added.
“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,” it continued.
“I have great trust in the ability of Mayor Pro Tem Mitchell, the City Council, and our staff to carry forward what we have accomplished.”
The city said that Mayor Pro Tem Denise Mitcell will now serve as presiding officer until a Special Election is held to replace Wojahn, DC News Now reported.
A special election has to be held within 65 days.