Maryland Mayor Patrick Wojahn, who has been arrested on 56 child pornography charges, has called the Biden administration’s transportation secretary Pete Buttigeig his “buddy” and “mentor.”
Wojahn, 47, was taken into custody after a search of his home on Feb. 28 after he resigned from his position before being arrested this week.
The 47-year-old has credited his career success to Buttigeig, who recently came under fire for his handling of a train derailment in East Palestine, Ohio, that involved dumping chemicals in the city.
The pair have appeared in several high-profile situations over the years, including at the White House at an event during the Obama administration.
Maryland Mayor Patrick Wojahn, who has been charged with 56 child pornography charges, has called embattled Transportation Secretary Pete Buttigeig his “buddy” and “mentor.”
Wojahn, 47, was taken into custody after his home was searched on February 28 after he resigned from his position before being arrested this week
“I actually met Mayor Pete Buttigieg shortly after I was elected mayor in 2015,” Wojahn, who is gay, told the Washington sheetin 2019.
Wojahn went on to explain how Buttigeig, who is also gay, was instructed to be his “buddy” at a meeting of mayors in Washington DC.
“I went to the winter meeting of the US Mayors Conference in DC in January (2015) and he was assigned as my buddy,” said Wojahn.
The two are said to have developed a close relationship after the DC visit and continued to talk on the phone – both later attended an event at the White House.
“I now take a leading role as vice president of urban livability and cycling, thanks in part to his mentorship,” Wojahn said of Buttigieg, adding that they would discuss the challenges of openly gay mayors.
“We were talking about balancing conflicting interests,” Wojahn told the Washington Blade at the time.
In 2019, Wojahn shared a photo of herself on Twitter with Buttigeig, the couple with their arms around each other with the caption, “Just two mayors grabbing a beer together. #mayorPete’
Several other photos emerged over the couple’s years, including some from his mentor’s 2020 presidential campaign, in which he wore a “Pete 2020” button with the former mayor of South Bend.
Visitor logs and his social media accounts show that Wojahn has visited the White House about six times since President Biden’s inauguration and since Buttigeig was appointed to head the Department of Transportation, according to Fox news.
Wojahn, was elected mayor of College Park, a DC suburb, in 2015, but abruptly resigned after Prince George’s County police arrested him on 40 counts for possession of child pornography and 16 counts for distributing child pornography.
The “allegations against former College Park mayor Patrick Wojahn are extremely disturbing, and we are grateful that local law enforcement intervened,” a DOT spokesperson told Fox News.
“The secretary was not well acquainted with the former mayor, but did meet him a number of times through participation in US Conference of Mayors programs, conferences and political events,” they added.
Buttigieg has faced calls to resign in recent weeks and even threats of impeachment in recent weeks over his handling of the train derailment in East Palestine, Ohio, which forced residents to evacuate.
A total of 38 cars derailed in the February 3 crash, 11 of which were carrying hazardous materials – residents later reported feeling unwell, as well as fish and wildlife dying.
Engineers aboard the doomed toxic train in eastern Ohio said Thursday they had been desperately trying to bring it to a halt — after receiving warnings that a wheel bearing was 254 degrees above normal.
The two are said to have developed a close relationship after the DC visit and continued to talk on the phone – both later attended an event at the White House
Kojahn with his husband, Dave Kolesar, at the White House in December to celebrate the Respect for Marriage Act
Buttigieg has faced calls to resign and even threats of impeachment in recent weeks over his handling of the train derailment in East Palestine, Ohio.
Nearby homes were quickly evacuated after the derailment as the flammable, highly toxic chemicals ignited
The crew attempted to slow the train as it headed toward East Palestine, Ohio, but their efforts failed, resulting in the fiery crash.
Photos and footage captured of the incident show plumes of black smoke billowing from the crash site.
Buttigeig’s use of taxpayer-subsidized private jets on more than a dozen occasions is also now being investigated by his department’s inspector general.
Wojahn was taken into police custody this week on 56 child pornography charges after a sting operation linked him to a social media account that spread explicit images of children.
Wojahn, 47, is in custody after his home was searched, and in January the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children notified local police of a social media account that spread explicit images.
Police linked that account to Wojahn and said he used a VPN to hide his identity.
In a letter of resignation on Thursday, Wojahn said he was stepping down to address his “mental health.”
The city thanked him “for his service” in its own statement and said nothing about the allegations in the initial announcement.
“The City of College Park thanks Mayor Wojahn for his many years of dedicated service,” the city’s statement read.
A later statement read: ‘We are shocked and alarmed by the news; what has come to light in this investigation is a total surprise to us.
“The city knows this news is distressing and difficult for our community, and we encourage our residents to seek whatever help they deem necessary to get through this difficult time.”
Wojahn was linked to the crimes because, according to police, he used his College Park email address as the recovery email address for the account.
He has been charged with 40 counts of possession of child pornography and 16 counts of distribution of child exploitative material.
Wojahn has been mayor of College Park, a city of 35,000, since 2015.
Wojahn lives with his husband, Dave Kolesar. They recently visited the White House to celebrate the Respect for Marriage Act in December.
Kolesar has not yet responded. In his letter of resignation, Wojahn said, “It has been a great honor and privilege to serve the City of College Park.
“But with immediate effect I have to resign my position.
“On February 28, 2023, a search warrant was executed at my residence as part of an ongoing police investigation. I have fully cooperated and will continue to cooperate with law enforcement.
“While there is no official business involved in this investigation, it is in the best interest of our community that I step aside and not create a distraction.
“Many of you have already reached out with well wishes and thoughts and I am eternally grateful. I am stepping away to deal with my own mental health.
In a letter of resignation, he said, “I am stepping away to work on my own mental health
Wojahn with Nancy Pelosi in a social media image
Police executed a search warrant at Wojahn’s home on February 28
“I ask that you keep me and my family in your prayers.”
In a press release, Prince George’s County Police Department said, “The image and videos were uploaded to the social media account in January 2023.
“Through various investigative techniques, PGPD investigators discovered that the social media account belonged to Wojahn.”
It is unclear whether his husband will be charged.