By Alice Carlson
College Park Mayor Patrick Wojahn was arrested March 2 on charges related to the possession and distribution of child pornography, Prince George’s County Police Department (PGPD) said.
Wojahn was elected mayor of College Park in 2015. In February, he was elected chair of the National League of Cities University Communities Council. He resigned from office the night before his arrest.
On Feb. 17, The National Center for Missing and Exploited Children became aware of a social media account operating in the county that was distributing child pornography and notified PGPD, according to a news release issued by the police department following the arrest. The account was identified as belonging to Wojahn; the investigation is ongoing.
The city council also held an emergency meeting and voted to remove Wojahn from all boards and committees on which he served. The city also released a statement on the mayor’s resignation which included a letter Wojahn addressed to the council and city manager. “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 wrote, adding, “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.”
Mitchell will serve as pro tem mayor until a special election is held. The city’s election supervisors will schedule that election; by city charter, the special election must take place within 65 days. The winner will serve as mayor until the general election in November. The city will post details about the special election, including candidate packets and voting information, on its website (collegeparkmd.gov).