LGBT Activist Mayor, Mentored by Pete Buttigieg, Arrested for Child Pornography
A liberal Democratic mayor and same-sex marriage activist, who has a long association with Secretary of Transportation Pete Buttigieg, has been charged with dozens of counts of child pornography.
Police arrested Patrick Wojahn (D) — the mayor of College Park, Maryland — on Thursday morning and charged him with 56 counts of possessing and distributing child porn. The National Center for Missing and Exploited Children tipped off local police on February 17 about a user account named “skippy_md” on the social media app Kik. Police say the account uploaded 15 videos and one image of adult men taking part in sexual activity with prepubescent boys.
The Prince George’s County Police Department executed a search warrant on Wojahn’s home on Tuesday, February 28, and announced members of its unit dedicated to fighting internet abuse of children seized “multiple cell phones, a storage device, a tablet and a computer.”
The 47-year-old mayor waived his Miranda rights, admitted the account belonged to him, and “advised that he has viewed and possessed files depicting child pornography,” court documents state.
Wojan faces “40 counts of possession of child exploitative material and 16 counts of distribution of child exploitative material,” according to the police department. Wojahn was serving his second term as mayor until Wednesday evening, when he submitted his letter of resignation, in which he said he was “stepping away to deal with my own mental health.”
“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,” the letter stated.
City officials greeted the shocking allegations in an understated manner. “The City of College Park thanks Mayor Wojahn for his many years of dedicated service,” the city’s official statement on his resignation said. The city called the events “distressing and difficult for our community” in a separate press release.
Relationship with Pete Buttigieg and Same-Sex ‘Marriage’ Activist
Wojahn rose to national prominence as an extreme LGBTQ activist in 2004, when he and the man to whom he is now legally wed, Dave Kolesar, sued to foist same-sex marriage on the state of Maryland by judicial fiat. A judge initially ruled in their favor, but they lost on appeal.
“Part of the task that we saw when we first joined the lawsuit was to frame the debate, because I guess you could say the Overton window was in a totally different place than where it is now,” Kolesar told local media.
Wojahn and Kolesar had “a religious ceremony in 2005 at Dignity Washington, a gay Catholic group,” according to local media, same-sex ceremony in 2011.
In 2015, Wojahn won election and “made history” as “the first openly gay man to become mayor of the city,” according to NBC News. That’s when he began his longtime mentor-mentee relationship with Transportation Secretary Pete Buttigieg.
“I actually met Mayor Pete Buttigieg shortly after I was elected mayor in 2015,” Wojahn remembered in a 2019 interview. “I went to the U.S. Conference of Mayors’ Winter Meeting in D.C. in January and he was assigned to be my buddy.”
“Buttigieg continued to mentor Wojahn, advising him on how to get the most out of his participation in the conference,” reported The Washington Blade, which describes itself as “America’s LGBTQ News Source,” in November 2019. (Wojahn praised the profile as “great.”)
Wojahn credited Buttigieg’s mentorship with his rise in leadership among the nation’s mayors. “I now serve in a leadership role as vice chair of city livability and bicycling in part due to his mentorship,” he said in 2019.
The accused child pornographer endorsed Pete Buttigieg during the South Bend mayor’s short-lived run for president during the 2020 Democratic primaries. Wojahn’s social media accounts regularly feature the two men standing by each other or physically embracing while “grabbing a beer together.”
The special relationship continued when Buttigieg swept into President Joe Biden’s White House to lead the Department of Transportation. The Biden administration highlighted Patrick Wojhan’s participation with a handful of select mayors at a December 2020 meeting, when DOT Secretary-designee Buttigieg “shared his priorities of safety, climate, equity and jobs as the four pillars that will drive the work he does at the Department.”
Buttigieg again tapped Wojahn to attend the January 2021 U.S. Conference of Mayors’ winter virtual meeting with the secretary. “How can we help you help us?” Wojahn asked Buttigieg. The same day, he joined the last 20 minutes of a Zoom conference with John Kerry and White House National Climate Adviser Gina McCarthy.
Wojahn and his legal husband, Kolesar, attended President Biden’s signing ceremony of the so-called Respect for Marriage Act, which required states to legally recognize the same-sex marriage, in January.
“It feels like it’s a sort of a turning point and a crossroads,” Wojahn told WTOP, where Kolesar works as senior broadcast engineer. The now-accused perpetrator described the bill’s nationwide redefinition of marriage as “a moment where we’re really gonna look back in 20 years and remember this day, as a date that really signified something important in our history and the history of our country.”
Buttigieg also mentored Wojahn about how to use his position as mayor of College Park to advocate for LGBTQ issues, such as flying the rainbow Pride flag over City Hall. Such statements express the city’s official stance, which should be used as a one-way lever to promote social liberalism. “Once we say we are an LGBT-friendly community, we don’t have to also then say we are not an LGBT-friendly community,” Wojahn stated. “That’s not what free speech is about.”
Wojahn expressed pride that, on his watch, the city of College Park earned a perfect 100% score from the Human Rights Campaign’s Municipal Equality Index (MEI). “The City of College Park aims to be a welcoming community for all, regardless of their sexual orientation or gender identity,” said then-Mayor Patrick L. Wojahn in a 2020 press release. “[T]his rating by the Human Rights Campaign recognizes our true commitment to diversity, inclusion and equity.”
“There is a lot more we can be doing to engage with all of the different communities,” insisted Wojahn in 2016. “People still have a way to go in their terms of understanding.”
Wojahn said in 2019 that his next “five-year strategic plan” aimed to force city taxpayers to underwrite the cost of transgender surgeries for those seeking gender reassignment — and he set his sights on higher office to extend the cause statewide. “One thing I actually would like to see is if the state government would mandate that this happen. Then we would share the risk with municipalities all over the state,” Wojahn said, noting that he had already strongly considered a run for House of Delegates to see the state pass legislation mandating transgender surgery.
This is a developing story. Check back for updates.
Ben Johnson is senior reporter and editor at The Washington Stand.