The results of an investigation into allegations of sexual misconduct against Frederick Alderman Roger Wilson released Tuesday night was short on details but called into question the past behavior of Wilson.

The four-page report disclosed Tuesday night by the city of Frederick was based in part on interviews with eight women who described interactions with Wilson. It found “sufficient evidence to conclude that Alderman Wilson relied on his position as an Alderman to gain the acquaintance and trust of women in the community” and that Wilson “then used a pretense of helping these women as an opportunity to request that they engage in sexual relationships with him.”

However, the investigation, conducted by Baltimore-based lawyer Karen Kruger, concluded that “Mr. Wilson’s conduct does not constitute legally actionable sexual harassment under State or federal law.”

“If anything, that sounds like flirting,” Wilson said in an interview Tuesday night. “If I did anything to that effect, that would be what I characterize it at.”

The report was released following a closed-door meeting with the mayor and aldermen where the board voted 4-0, with one abstention, to release it.

The accusations against Wilson were first made public in a Facebook post by Wilson’s colleague, Alderman Ben MacShane, in December. The post, which did not go into detail, stated Wilson had engaged in inappropriate behavior with numerous women.

At the time, Wilson described those allegations as false and slanderous.

The investigation also looked into MacShane’s role in publicizing the accusations on Facebook and found that MacShane did not defame Wilson in publishing the post.

The women involved in the accusations have not wished to go public with their claims, according to both the investigator’s findings and previous reporting by the News-Post.

Kruger, the investigator, wrote she interviewed eight women in connection with allegations against Wilson, “six of whom alleged that they had been subjected to unwelcomed sexual advances.”

She continued, “Of these six, the complaints of two arose from events that occurred when Mr. Wilson was an Alderman for the City of Frederick. These two witnesses alleged that Alderman Wilson used his position as a means of meeting them and offering a mentoring relationship to aid them professionally, but then – unexpectedly — suggested a sexual encounter.”

Asked whether he agrees with the investigator’s assessment that he requested they engage in a sexual relationships with him, Wilson said in an interview Tuesday night, “Absolutely not.”

Wilson said the findings make clear he didn’t sexually harass anyone.

“[The report] still leaves the thought out there – the cloud out there – that I did something, but it didn’t rise to what I was alleged to have done by Alderman Ben MacShane,” Wilson said, “which was sexual harassment, coercion, quid pro quo. I am glad that the details are out there in the public for the voters to decide. But clearly this says that I am not guilty of sexual harassment. That was just an awful accusation and didn’t give me an opportunity to refute it. Now we have an independent investigation that says just that.”

Wilson is seeking the Democratic nomination for mayor against incumbent Michael O’Connor. In addition to Wilson and O’Connor, the following candidates are running for mayor, according to the city’s website: Republicans Jeremy Darius Abbott, Steve Garrahy and Steven Hammrick and Democrats Jennifer P. Dougherty and John Funderburk.

A second objective of Kruger’s report sought to find whether MacShane defamed Wilson. On that item, the investigator stated MacShane’s actions were protected under the First Amendment.

“Mr. MacShane, upon receiving the first allegation of misconduct, endeavored to obtain and did obtain additional information that tended to corroborate the first complaint,” the report states. “The witness who subsequently contacted him and whom I interviewed further verified the alleged pattern of conduct that can fairly be described as unwanted sexual advances. Accordingly, I conclude that Mr. MacShane had a good-faith basis for believing the allegations and was speaking out on a matter of public concern when he issued his Face Book messages in December 2020.”

MacShane said Tuesday night he was thankful the women were “courageous” in sharing their stories with the investigator. He said the situation led to ongoing work in creating city policies to deal with sexual harassment or impropriety by a city official.

MacShane said “it’s valuable” that Wilson’s “horrible treatment” of women in this community is being discussed.

Trevor Baratko is the news editor at The Frederick News-Post. Follow him on Twitter at @TrevorBaratko.

Trevor Baratko is the news editor for the Frederick News-Post. Follow him on Twitter at @TrevorBaratko.

(44) comments

Citicat

Resign...where there is smoke there is fire...I said it on day one you left the county for a reason...resign...facts are facts

MrSniper

The facts are, allegations were made inappropriately. They were investigated by a credible independent party. No laws were found to have been broken. This case seems to be open & shut. There are plenty of opportunities for people to argue about politics. This isn’t one of them.

kfmd

Neither of these two will ever get my vote. Because moral character is one of my major checkboxes. I think they’re both full of a bunch of hot air. In this article... why bother? Neither of them were held accountable for their behavior.

KFMD...you very succinctly got to the point of O'Connor vs Wilson..if I can't win then you won't win.... It's kinda like a play from a Republican play book.....hey is Greenland pretty this time of year? And since no one is going to be held accountable no one is getting my vote either....do you think they thought this through all the way to their end?

Awteam2021

What were the acts that Wilson needs to be held accountable for? There’s no account.

jp3060

So the guy is a pig but not a crook. Good to know.

Awteam2021

I know someone who checked both those boxes🤔

threecents

[thumbup]AW, Yup, Trump is a double threat.

phydeaux994

I can’t vote for the Mayor of Frederick City so it’s irrelevant to me. But I’d say Mr. McShane has accomplished his goal. As noted, many Politicians have survived more serious allegations. And we have a Justice on the Supreme Court that dodged the bullet too. I feel that Mr. Wilson probably acted inappropriately but not illegally. It’s up to the voters of Frederick City.

yogib

no laws broken, just two terrible misjudgments by O'Conner and McShane. They did it at the right time as we voters have known both are ineffective and now we can start with a new slate

MD1756

At best, it shows repeated poor judgement by Wilson. Government already has plenty of politicians showing repeated poor judgement regarding the use of their power. Do we need more? I wonder if he made any sexual advances to any males who may have sought his help or does he discriminate based on sex?

Dwasserba

“...six of whom alleged that they had been subjected to unwelcomed sexual advances.” He calls it “flirting.” Whatever it was, it isn’t legally actionable and McShane is off the hook for broadcasting. Well. Were these Amish girls new to flirting or is his version of flirting too earthy for six out of eight, or what the h happened in these dialogues, because I am suspecting love language miscommunication of um, extreme proportions. As a wife, *yeah* I could let this influence my voting for sure, if I knew how his wife views it. But should it, I don’t know. I’m flawed that way.

Awteam2021

Where’s the pattern if you don’t know the act? What did he ‘say or do’ to the anonymous eight women that six felt they were being sexually harassed? This article doesn’t state. How does one defend themselves against a sexual inappropriate allegation, if you don’t know what the allegation (act) is?... what were the acts? I would like to know. Wouldn’t you? Without sworn affidavits from the women, It leaves everything up to conjecture. That’s only being fair to the accused. Even if you are anonymous, it would seem to make sense to state what the inappropriate behavior was.

MacShane said “it’s valuable” that Wilson’s “horrible treatment” of women in this community is being discussed.....this last statement from MacShane reveals much about him.

What he is really saying is that "it's valuable" to him and O'Connor that Wilson's "horrible treatment of women" is being discussed by the community. It's valuable to cast doubt on the POC that is running for Mayor. Can't have a POC becoming Mayor of Frederick now can we? We must do something....and something they did.

This was their plan all along to cast doubt on Wilson...and they have succeeded, Not for one minute should anyone think that MacShane nor O'Connor give one wit for these "horribly treated" women, these women were merely pawns in their game These women were played..... Maybe that's why the "acts" weren't revealed? If the "acts" were revealed the game would be over?

I believe there are 8 women that had encounters with Wilson...who may or may not have perceived those encounters accurately? Perceptions aren't not the accurate reality. We still don't know the truth, the accurate representation of reality.

Dwasserba

PP “Not for one minute should anyone think that MacShane nor O'Connor give one wit for these ‘horribly treated’ women, these women were merely pawns in their game...” PP Sometimes when I post I read again and decide I went too far, and edit. For one, it’s “whit,” for two, pretty sure it would have been more personally advantageous not to comment. That would’ve been: not giving a whit.

Thank you Dwasserba I should have said "one iota", "they don't give one iota about these women"...I left out the H and should have used a more specific word to make things clearer for the reading audience ..but you knew what I was trying say, and you corrected me and I thank you for that. Should I repost my post with the correct spelling of whit or should I use one iota instead?

whit wĭt, hwĭt►

n. The least bit; an iota.

An obsolete or dialectal form (surviving especially in old compounds, as whitleather, Whitsun, etc.) of white.

n. The smallest part, particle, bit, or degree; a little; a jot, tittle, or iota: often used adverbially, and generally with a negative.

threecents

For me, as a Frederick resident, there is still not enough information to draw any conclusions against Wilson, so it will not affect my vote. As for the spelling or grammar issues, as long as I can understand it, I don't give the smallest whit.

joelp77440

One compliant can be a case of "he said, she said" and a possible misunderstanding. Six separate complaints over two different government positions is a pattern.

HappySeller2014

And who paid for this investigation?

Frederick City taxpayers.

HappySeller2014

The salaciousness! A nothingburger report. FACEBOOK posts. Unknown accusers. Untold sexual activities, but yet not discussed. Flirting. ZOOM meetings and a Christmastime bombshell.

Frederick City at its finest. Along with our constipated duck weathervane logo fiasco, this is why folks living west of Mt. Airy are looked upon as Fredneckians and fools.

neilyoungfan25

I don’t care what this attorney says - I hope MacShane has the pants sued off of him. And that the city doesn’t have to pay for MacShane’s defense!

Awteam2021

Where are the affidavits, taken under oath, from the women involved in the accusations, detailing their claims? Their identities don’t need to be disclosed but the alleged sexual assault should be.

newspostreader

“sufficient evidence to conclude that Alderman Wilson relied on his position as an Alderman to gain the acquaintance and trust of women in the community” and that Wilson “then used a pretense of helping these women as an opportunity to request that they engage in sexual relationships with him.” - This is all I need to see. How can anyone with a conscience vote for someone who used their position to befriend someone and then make attempts to engage in sexual relationships with them. So it may have not been something considered "illegal", but he still did it. How many other women are out there, who can't speak up, did cross that line? A Mayor needs to be someone you can trust. Trust to use their authority to act on behalf of every resident of the city. He's using his power to act on behalf of his own sexual needs.

Awteam2021

But where’s the “sufficient evidence“? Just saying, 🤷‍♂️ that doesn’t make it so. Where’s the beef 🥩?

Guy T. Ashton

It would seem common that those who do things that many find immoral or questionable justify it by pointing out that it “isn’t illegal.”

Awteam2021

No Guy. What are the “things” he did that were immoral? This article doesn’t say. Was it “ Sally, that’s a sexy outfit you’re wearing today”? Maybe inappropriate but not “immoral”. Even going as far as saying “ Sally I would love to have sex with you”, inappropriate but not immoral. 🤷‍♂️ You never asked to engage in conjugation?

Guy T. Ashton

Guess it depends on your definition of immoral.

Awteam2021

Defining words aren’t for you or me to choose but to interpret. Immorality - according to Webster’s dictionary: violating moral principles; not conforming to the patterns of conduct usually accepted or established as consistent with principles of personal and social ethics.

Where does this column list the violations of moral principles?

The article only says the alleged acts were not criminally offensive. It doesn’t say what the acts were. Not like going on Hollywood Access and spewing immoral acts.

C.D.Reid

"...MacShane did not defame Wilson in publishing the post." Seems to me the FNP's "legal expert" Plumbum was warning MacShane, O'Connor, and the FNP to prepare to be defendants in a defamation lawsuit to be brought by Wilson. Looking back at all her previous comments on this matter, she was one of the most vocal, and wrong, in her opinions. I'm curious to see how she tries to spin her way out of this one. Plumbum?

pdl603

Ok, so supporters of Wilson have to twist and squirm to find a way to spin this report’s findings, so that a man with power did not use his position to ‘Weinstein’ women? I guess it is good to be a democrat. Don’t believe me, just ask Ralph Northam, Justin Fairfax and Keith Ellison.

fnpreader123

The replies on his Facebook victory lap are gross to read, some people are so naive.

Awteam2021

“Twist and squirm”,really? Try reading the article again, pdl603: it says,“ However, the investigation, conducted by Baltimore-based lawyer Karen Kruger, concluded that “Mr. Wilson’s conduct does not constitute legally actionable sexual harassment under State or federal law.”

By the way Matt Matt Gaetz (paid for sex with a minor), Donald Trump ( 20 sexual assault accusations. DNA test coming) , Rudy Giuliani (caught on film “jerking off” in front of a young lady). They are all Republicans.🤷‍♂️

fnpreader123

Only because the women aren't employees! It's disgusting and predatory behavior, and I wish adultery was still illegal.

C.D.Reid

You seem to have forgotten all the sexual improprieties committed by your fellow Democrats, Aw. Joe Biden, Andrew Cuomo, Al Franken, John Conyers, Eliot Spitzer, with Bill Clinton being the biggest horhopper ever in American politics, to name a few. Don't you think they deserve mentioning also?

pdl603

Where are the “pound me too”, or is it hashtag, people? Its good to be a democrat.

bosco

Don't forget Cuomo and Joe "Hair Sniffer" Biden.

Awteam2021

Blaine Young.

threecents

Or "P---- Grabber" Trump?

threecents

OK, so six women complained of unwanted sexual advances from Wilson. The optics are not good, since he approached these people as a mentor, but that does not necessarily imply sexual harassment. Case closed.

fnpreader123

It is harassment, and it is disgusting. He is an elected official! If he was a police officer, would you still feel the same way? What about if your wife or daughter was offered mentoring help, went somewhere alone with him, and was propositioned? It is a horrible feeling, I speak from experience from a similar situation. He is also married!!! This is predator behavior, and just because this time he didn't get caught harassing someone actually employed by the city, therefore illegal, doesn't mean he hasn't or won't. People excusing this behavior are also the problem.

C.D.Reid

Good points, fnpreader [thumbup][thumbup][thumbup]

threecents

I was not saying it isn't sexual harassment, but the report specifically said that what he did is not against the law. Thus my "case closed" comment. Remember we have elected presidents with much more serious sexual allegations against them. In multiple cases Trump even bragged about how he used his power to take advantage of women, and it somehow did not seem to hurt him politically.

Awteam2021

Fnpreader123, What was the harassment? How did he harass? What did he say or do? The article left that important information out. But it said it wasn’t criminal. Sounds like they are saying he allegedly made inappropriate clumsy remarks at best. But we don’t know, sense this article and the findings of the lawyer doesn’t state his inappropriate acts.

gary4books

"Oh the horror..." is a common statement. And I do see how some were uncomfortable with his questions. But for me the determining question is "Did he break the law...?" It seems that Wilson did not break the law. Should he be Mayor? That is a question for the voters. They decide. I can vote for him.

Welcome to the discussion.

Keep it clean. No vulgar, racist, sexist or sexually-oriented language.
Engage ideas. This forum is for the exchange of ideas, not personal attacks or ad hominem criticisms.
TURN OFF CAPS LOCK.
Be civil. Don't threaten. Don't lie. Don't bait. Don't degrade others.
No trolling. Stay on topic.
No spamming. This is not the place to sell miracle cures.
No deceptive names. Apparently misleading usernames are not allowed.
Say it once. No repetitive posts, please.
Help us. Use the 'Report' link for abusive posts.

Thank you for reading!

Already a member?

Login Now
Click Here!

Currently a News-Post subscriber?

Activate your membership at no additional charge.
Click Here!

Need more information?

Learn about the benefits of membership.
Click Here!

Ready to join?

Choose the membership plan that fits your needs.
Click Here!