Patrick Wojahn, the mayor of College Park, Maryland, resigned after authorities arrested him on 56 counts of child pornography-related charges, Prince George’s County Police Chief Malik Aziz said during a Thursday news conference with Jessica Garth, a representative from the State’s Attorney’s Office.
Wojahn is in custody at the Prince George’s County Department of corrections and will soon meet a commissioner who will make a determination on Wojahn’s “bond, or whether he will be held, or whether he will be released on pre-trial release,” Garth said.
“If he is not released, he will see a judge. That hearing will most likely be tomorrow,” Garth added.
“Mayor Patrick L. Wojahn submitted his letter of resignation as Mayor of the City of College Park, effective immediately on March 2,” it said. “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.”
Mayor Pro Tem Denise Mitchell will serve the city in the interim, until a Special Election is held for another mayor, the release said.
An attorney for Wojahn said in an email he’s “cooperating fully with law enforcement.”
“While too early to comment on the allegations, we will continue to cooperate as the process unfolds,” the email added.
In his resignation letter, Wojahn said, “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.”
College Park city officials are “shocked and disturbed” by the arrest and charges, according to a statement from the city.
“What has come to light in this investigation is a total surprise to us,” the statement said, adding, “we encourage our residents to seek any help they feel necessary” as a result of the “distressing and difficult” news.