Wednesday, November 30, 2022

D.C. deputy mayor resigns amid assault charge after alleged confrontation outside gym

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Christopher Geldart, deputy mayor for public safety in Washington, DC, has resigned days after being accused of assaulting another man in a gym parking lot.

Mayor Muriel Bowser announced on Wednesday that she had accepted Geldart’s resignation just over a week after he was charged with assault and assault in what police say was a dispute that police said began on Oct. 1 in Arlington, Virginia dispute escalated.

“I am sad to say that I have accepted the resignation of Deputy Mayor Chris Geldart, but I am proud of the work we have done together over the past eight years and I am immensely grateful to Chris for his service of the city,” Bowser said.

Arlington County Police Department told ABC News last week that officers were initially responding to a report of an Oct. 3 assault, two days after Geldart and an unnamed man collided, which police say happened after Geldart’s vehicle door smashed the driver’s vehicle man outside had hit the fitness center.

The Oct. 1 incident quickly escalated, and the deputy mayor “allegedly grabbed the victim by the throat,” police said.

The other man then swore to file a criminal complaint with the magistrate on Oct. 3, police said. Geldart then turned himself in and was released on a subpoena to appear before a judge.

He has yet to appear in court on his charges, and it was unclear Wednesday whether he had hired a lawyer to speak on his behalf.

Shortly after the altercation broke and days before Geldart’s resignation, Bowser’s office told ABC News that “we take all allegations seriously and are investigating the matter. Deputy Mayor Geldart is on leave while the matter is being investigated. Unfortunately, this sounds like something that happens to a lot of people – an argument about something small – and we hope it gets resolved quickly.”

Geldart came under additional scrutiny from DC residents after the police report showed he lived in Virginia, although he maintains an apartment in southeast DC

County statutes require Geldart to reside in the county for 180 days after his appointment.

“His family lived elsewhere and he is entitled to establish a residence in the district. And I think the issue and all the questions that are being raised are a distraction from his work and my work, and I have accepted his resignation,” Bowser said Wednesday.

DC City Manager Kevin Donahue will replace Geldart until Bowser hires a new Deputy Mayor for Public Safety.

Donahue previously served as Deputy Mayor for Public Safety and Justice.

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