D.C. Deputy Mayor Resigns Following Assault Controversy, Residency Questions

 Washington, D.C. Deputy Mayor for Public Safety Chris Geldart (D) has resigned following a controversy regarding an alleged assault captured on video and questions regarding his residency status.

Mayor Muriel Bowser (D) made the announcement on Wednesday.

“I’m saddened to say that I have accepted the resignation of Deputy Mayor Chris Geldart,” Bowser said at a news conference. “But I’m proud of the work we’ve done together over the last years.”

NBC 4 first reported Geldart’s resignation. “I no longer wanted to be a distraction to the vitally important work of the Public Safety agencies of the District government,” he reportedly told the outlet.

Geldart was charged with assault and battery last week after an incident with a trainer in the parking lot of a Gold’s Gym in Arlington, Virginia. The surveillance video was shared exclusively with Fox 5 Washington.

The video shows Geldart confronting the trainer, Dustin Woodward, and the two exchange heated words. Geldart allegedly put his hand on the man’s neck before he was pushed away and other people came to break up the altercation.

“It’s a little frustrating, right? Because he’s way too big to be trying to be a bully, especially with his position. Something should be done. It’s not okay,” Woodward told the outlet. “We’ve been dealing with him for a while at Gold’s. Multiple locations actually, that’s how we even figured out who he was. So, something needs to be done because you can’t just abuse your power like that. That’s pretty frustrating on my end.”

D.C. Councilmember Charles Allen addressed the assault charge in a statement last week.

“I’ve had a very strong working relationship with Deputy Mayor Geldart over his many years in the District government, and he’s proven himself to be a partner in tackling pressing challenges facing the District. That said, I’ve seen the video footage, and these charges are serious and concerning. Alleged assault and physical intimidation cannot be dismissed as a minor dispute,” Allen shared in the statement.

Geldart is scheduled to appear in court on Monday for an arraignment regarding the assault charge. The former deputy mayor had already been on leave since the reporting of the incident.

In addition to the assault charge, questions have also emerged regarding Geldart living in an apartment in Virginia. His position required residing in Washington, D.C. Executive branch employees must be city residents within 180 days of appointment and remain so during their time in office, according to District Code.

Bowser said that City Administrator Kevin Donahue would oversee local public safety agencies until Geldart’s replacement is determined.

Geldart had served as deputy mayor of public safety and justice since 2021. The former deputy mayor previously worked in roles within the Department of Public Works and D.C.’s Homeland Security.

D.C. Deputy Mayor Resigns Following Assault Controversy, Residency Questions D.C. Deputy Mayor Resigns Following Assault Controversy, Residency Questions Reviewed by Your Destination on October 13, 2022 Rating: 5

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