Former College Park, Maryland, Mayor Patrick Wojahn was arrested Thursday on several charges of child pornography, city officials announced.
The Prince George's County Police Department was notified by the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children on Feb. 17 that there was a social media account in the county posting child pornography, and police tracked it back to Wojahn, 47, the department said.
Officers carried out a search warrant on Tuesday and recovered a tablet, computer, a storage device and multiple cell phones from Wojahn's home.
Wojahn, who was on the College Park city council and has been the mayor of the city since 2015, was charged with 16 counts of distributing child pornography and 40 counts of possessing it. He resigned Thursday.
"On February 28, 2023, a search warrant was executed on my residence as part of an ongoing police investigation," he said in his letter. "I have cooperated fully, and will continue to cooperate, with law enforcement."
"While this investigation does not involve any official city business of any kind, it is in the best interests of our community that I step aside and not serve as a distraction," he added.
He said he is "stepping away to deal with my own mental health," but that people have sent him well wishes and prayers.
Former Councilwoman Denise Mitchell will now serve as mayor pro tempore until a special election is held, which must happen within the next 65 days.
"Today has been a very difficult day for the residents, staff and elected officials in College Park," she said in a statement. "Like our community, we are shocked and disturbed by the arrest and charges filed against the former mayor. As this is an on-going and active investigation, the City will respect the judicial process and cooperate fully with the investigation."