He says he’s filed a torts claim, giving him the right to sue.
Frederick, Md (KM) There are some developments in the social media posting last year against Frederick Aldermen Roger Wilson by fellow Alderman Ben MacShane.
In a statement, Wilson said he was contacted by an attorney who said an investigation was underway since January 27th into this complaint, and was asked to submit to an interview or release a statement. “Of course, I was not aware. Nor were the taxpayers of the City of Frederick, whose money was apparently being used to pay for this investigation,” Wilson said in a statement. He said Mayor Michael O’Connor had been conducting this investigation without a formal vote and without informing the public “As you can imagine, I was shocked. How could this be allowed to happen,” Wilson continued, in his statement.
The complaint filed against Alderman Wilson claims he harassed and coerced several women. Wilson calls those allegations “false” and “slanderous.”
Days later, Wilson says his attorney found out that the lawyer said there was no specific complaint or allegations “made to cause initiation of this investigation. There were general allegations made on Facebook by Alderman MacShane.”
“And so after everything that the community and myself had been subjected to, we find out what many of us already knew: There have been no complaints filed with the City about my conduct in office. The police department found no basis to investigate. Respected news media outlets turned down attempts by Alderman MacShane and his allies to generate articles, finding no credibility. No claim has been filed with any federal, state, or local agency with jurisdiction to investigate. No suit has been filed.. No notice of tort claim has been filed,” Wilson goes on in his statement.
Wilson said he filed a Maryland Public Information Act request to learn how much taxpayer money was spent by the Mayor in his investigation of a campaign opponent. He also said he’s filed a torts claim notice, giving him the right to sue to recover any money spent on this investigation, and against the Mayor and Aldermen Mac-Shane for defamation.
“I am not a litigious person, and the last thing I want to do is file suit,” Wilson says. “But the mayor’s behavior–conducting a secret taxpayer-funded investigation of his opponent the city election–sets an incredibility dangerous precedent.”
Wilson is running in the Democratic primary against Incumbent Mayor Michael O’Connor.
“I cannot, in good conscience, let that stand,” Wilson continues.
If he does file suit, Wilson says any monetary damages he receives beyond legal fees will be donated to Heartly House, which provides services and help for victims of domestic violence, sexual assault and child abuse.
He also says that during Wednesday’s Board of Aldermen Workshop, he will introduce proposals to reform the City’s Ethics laws. “We need a specific legal framework in City law to deal with allegations like this, to ensure due process and the right for both the accuser and the accused, and to provide for an independent review by the Board of Ethics,” Wilson says.
By Kevin McManus