He says it’s an attempt to derail his run for Mayor.
Frederick, Md (KM) He’s angry. Frederick Alderman Roger Wilson spoke recently about the accusations of sexual harassment and coercion against several women leveled by Alderman Ben MacShane. During a recent appearance on WFMD”s “Mid-Maryland Live,” Wilson said MacShane made his accusations in a Facebook post.
Wilson says these accusations hurt he and his family. “By the way, Alderman MacShane didn’t even think twice about my children; my children. Not once,” he said.
The accusations were posted after Christmas 2020. Wilson said he was taking his daughters on an outing to Harpers Ferry, West Virginia when received a call from MacShane. “He preceded to tell me that these allegations were being levied at me. That he was going public and that he was going to media about them. I didn’t have a chance to respond and he hung up,” he says.
In a statement issued earlier last week, Wilson said an investigation against him had been underway since January 27th. He said Mayor Michael O’Connor had been conducting the investigation without any formal vote by the Board of Aldermen or informing him.
The City, in its own statement, said all five Aldermen were initially in favor of an investigation, including Alderman Wilson. But Wilson withdrew his support. The Mayor said he would leave the decision of an investigation up to the Board of Aldermen, and four were in favor.
During the “Mid-Maryland Live” program, Wilson did acknowledged he wanted an investigation. “I initially requested an independent investigation from within the city to understand if there were accusers, charges or complaints. None,” he said.
In his statement, Wilson said he was contacted by a Baltimore law firm about the allegations, and was asked to submit to an interview or issue a statement. After Wilson lawyer asked about specific complaints, and what is being investigatieod, the law firm siad there wwere not formal complaints. Just an accusation on Facebook.
Wilson said these accusations have negatively affected he and his family. “Basically, my reputation in this community was wiped out on December 22th,”: he said. “All the work that I had done, my family had done.”
He went on to say that these accusations look like an attempt by Alderman MacShane and Mayor O’Connor to derail his campaign for Mayor. “It looks like a coordinated effort,” he said. “And to this day, I haven’t had a phone call from the Mayor. That is awful. And he knows my family. He knows them closely.”
Wilson announced in January that he’s running for Mayor. He says these accusations will not stop his campaign for the city’s top job.
“You can raise an allegation against any public official, against anyone, and it will be taken seriously,” he says.
In his comments on “Mid-Maryland Live” and in his statement, Wilson said he’s considering the possibility of a lawsuit against the city, Alderman MacShane and Mayor O’Connor. “There should be some consequences for making false claims. For the Mayor to be investigating his political opponent, I will let the voter make that assessment against the current leader there,” he said.
If his files a lawsuit and is successful, Wilson says he will donate any money he receives to Heartly House, a non-profit which helps victims of domestic violence, sexual assault and child abuse.
By Kevin McManus