The city of Frederick's report on allegations against Alderman Roger Willson is a disgrace to any attempt to provide unbiased and fair evaluation of the situation.

Mr. Wilson is clearly a victim of a political opponent who has chosen to use Facebook as a mechanism to defame a colleague who chose to run for mayor of Frederick city. Mr. Wilson is confronted with anonymous accusers whose identity remains unknown.

Alderman Ben MacShane has posted these accusations against Mr. Wilson on Facebook and then hidden the background and source of the charges. The city then paid for a report which restated these allegations and failed to point out that there was no public knowledge of facts to support the claims made on Facebook.

There is currently a national concern about the use of Facebook to harass and abuse public and private individuals. Mr. Wilson's case certainly falls within the purview of this concern about the misuse of social media.

(26) comments

Awteam2021

I think it’s odd that one would want evidence that Mr. Wilson wasn’t soliciting sex, especially since the report wasn’t explicit in his wrong acts and stated he didn’t do anything criminal. In Maryland any accusation of sexual assault by anyone can be reported to the police and requires inquiry follow up. Aldermans or exempt. Simply posting rumors on Facebook is simply juvenile slander.

PurplePickles aka L&M

Simply printing rumors in the Frederick News Post is also juvenile slander.

PurplePickles aka L&M

It seems to me Awteam2021 after reading your post:

Awteam2021 May 10, 2021 3:01pm

KM, Actually in Maryland a variety of different crimes could be charged if prosecutors believe you attempted to exchange something of value for sexual acts, even mentoring. It’s taken seriously. Elected political officers are not exempt. So, what explicitly were the attempts? Yes you don’t have to commit murder, attempting to do so is a crime.

I’m just asking, what did he say or do, what were the attempts to solicit sex? I haven’t been informed. Have you? Other then conjecture (guesses).

Your guesses are as good as mine...or The evidence for Mr. Wilson is better than the evidence against Mr. Wilson. Where is the evidence against Mr. Wilson?

Awteam2021

At the same time not knowing the evidence, I thing Roger is ‘toast’. Too many of his Democratic colleagues (privy to what he said or did) are saying that his actions were not criminal, but inappropriate for an elected official and doesn’t represent the Democratic party and should resign or at least, not run for mayor. I would just like to know what he ‘said’ or ‘did’.

PurplePickles aka L&M

I concur with your verdict Awteam2021: That Roger is 'toast'...I do hope these same Democratic colleagues think the same exact things about O'Connor and MacShane?

Logically they should be....?

That a smear campaign on Facebook and in the FNP while not criminal is highly inappropriate for a Democrat, and that MacShane and O'Connor should resign or at least not run for mayor...But maybe they want a Republican to be mayor again???

Dwasserba

I can’t help wondering how this would have come to light and played out without social media.

yogib

I agree with Jerry except based on how quickly the democrats jumped all over Mr. Wilson, there clearly was racism involved. White Frederick politicians generally never get a second look. O'conner found something to try to limit his primary, or so he thought

PurplePickles aka L&M

Nail on the Head yogib

If Mr. Wilson had been white this play by O'Connor and MacShane would not have worked out as well for those involved in the play. It only worked out this well because Mr. Wilson is POC...FNP would have never even mentioned the FaceBook accusations had Mr. Wilson been white, because like you say white politicians never get a 2nd look.

And yet the FNP decided to make the accusations a front page story??

Because any journalist/newspaper should know better, you print facts not accusations unless....you want to cause someone a lot of pain and influence an election.

bosco

What about Blame Young and the black book, yogi? Selective memory?

PurplePickles aka L&M

Yes way back when the Black Book scandal happened the FNP was doing investigative journalism..remember that? This isn't investigative journalism...so what about the Black Book Scandal don't you understand?

petersamuel

All the accusers of Alderman Wilson made their accusations behind the veil of anonymity. It's a bedrock principle of common law that the accused should be able to confront their accuser in a court. That's so the accuser can be cross-examined and their account contested. How can an accused defend himself if the accuser is left unidentified and no time and place of the alleged offenses is specified. It's impossible. Even the nature of the offenses alleged remains vague. The letterwriter is right. Neither Ald McShane nor the City nor the Frederick News-Post should have gone public with this unfair and ultimately trivial nonsense.

JerryR

I feel bad for Mr. Wilson, as Ben McShane was derelict when he posted the info on Face Book. At one time Face Book was good, it informed people and connected folks to friends, etc. Now it's gone the route of complete evil and people are implicated for something they may not be remotely associated to every day. It pathetic. That's why I won't even touch social media. However, the report must have proven some bad behavior on Mr. Wilson's part. And that's unfortunate, but just like I stated about the Ding Dong who ragged on the county and city police forces, it boils down to people making bad choices in the moment that can come back to haunt them.

PurplePickles aka L&M

However, the report must have proven some bad behavior on Mr. Wilson's part. ....and that is exactly the thought O'Connor and MacShane wanted to plant in people's heads, because most people aren't critical thinkers, so now most people are going to think just like JerryR does...there must have been some bad behavior because there is this report???

Actually JerryR we have yet to learn the truth: the accurate representation of reality, you realize that right? There is NO public notice of the facts JerryR....don't go making a bad choice that will come back to haunt you.

KMcHugh

The report found that Mr. Wilson used the guise of setting up "mentor relationships" in order to solicit women for sex. The report also found that because there was no explicit quid pro quo or promise of advancement or favor, it didn't rise to the level of sexual harassment. That doesn't mean that we must find Mr. Wilson's behavior acceptable: I don't, and clearly the women who came forward didn't either.

PurplePickles aka L&M

So can you link us to the report? or are you getting this from the FNP story? See I don't exactly trust their reporting on this....

JerryR

Obviously something went down or this would all be moot.

KMcHugh

Purple, I can reply to every comment on this thread but yours. Not sure why. Hopefully you see this.

The full report is available here: https://bloximages.newyork1.vip.townnews.com/fredericknewspost.com/content/tncms/assets/v3/editorial/5/c8/5c845ea8-70a2-567a-add8-f4774d270ae6/609201864b949.pdf.pdf

The report also maintains the anonymity of the accusers, although the attorney who prepared it does go into some detail on why they chose to do so. I think the most relevant portion of the report is below:

"I find there is 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. He then used a pretense of helping these women as an opportunity to request that they engage in sexual relationships with him. The two witnesses mentioned above reported that he so approached them during his term as an Alderman.

Although Mr. Wilson may have used his public official persona to meet these women, his

propositions to them are fairly characterized as private conduct. There was no employment relationship involved and no indication that he was demanding sexual favors in exchange for some benefit that he had control over. He did not and could not have created a hostile work environment based on sexual harassment, as there was no employment relationship and no reports of repeated and pervasive conduct as to each individual. The complainants did not suffer legally compensable damages. Accordingly, Mr. Wilson’s conduct does not constitute legally actionable sexual harassment under State or federal law. "

So the report finds that this should be considered private conduct rather than legally actionable sexual harassment, which I do concede is a very important distinction. It's still not conduct that I find favorable.

PurplePickles aka L&M

KMcHugh..thank you for that link. If you have noticed there is no reply button on your comment with the link either? So I have no idea where this comment is going to land.

JerryR I don't trust the FNP's reporting on this..and why are you assuming I'm a dem?

And no I don't trust dems...I don't trust anyone until they can prove they are worth trusting..it's best to be skeptical of everyone and everything...that way you are less likely to be scammed.

Awteam2021

KM, If the premise was to solicit sex, it wasn’t very successful, wasn’t it? 0 for 6 🤷‍♂️. At this point, no women have actually come forward. No ( rather claiming, they won’t come forward, because fearing public scorn). There is no evidence of what made them feel he was soliciting sex. Only conjecture and hearsay. Maybe you are looking for something not there? What did he explicitly do?

Accusations like this only make legitimate sexual assault claims less credible.

If Ben MacShane felt there was legitimate cause he should have reported it to the police or at least to personnel, rather then spreading such offense speculative rumors on Facebook. Is he in junior high school?

What knowledge, evidence do you have that he was soliciting sex? At best, he failed.

PurplePickles aka L&M

I read the report and I agree we should not find Mr.Wilson's behavior acceptable, much like we didn't find Al Franken's behavior acceptable. And Al Franken was swiftly kicked out of politics..some say "we" overreacted to Al Franken's behavior?

Perhaps.....?

WE have evidence of Al Franken's behavior and yet it's still he said she said with Mr. Wilson's behavior....correct? We only have the conclusions of Karen J Kruger ..someone the city paid to make the conclusions.

I remember there was a study that said sugar wasn't bad for you..come to find out Coke had paid for that study...so you understand my skepticism with this "report"?

https://nationalpost.com/health/surprise-coca-cola-funded-research-says-sugary-drinks-arent-all-that-bad-for-you

I contacted the reporter, Ryan Marshall via email to inquire about the basis of his “confirmation.”

He replied as follows: Perhaps the article wasn't clear. We've spoken to several women who have made allegations against Mr. Wilson. We have not been able to confirm whether those allegations are true...and yet the FNP printed them anyway?

I contacted the reporter, Ryan Marshall via email to inquire about the basis of his “confirmation.”

He replied as follows: Perhaps the article wasn't clear. We've spoken to several women who have made

allegations against Mr. Wilson. We have not been able to confirm whether those allegations are true.

KMcHugh

Awteam:

My evidence is the report from Ms. Kruger, an outside attorney employed by the City Attorney's office to conduct an impartial review, which included interviews with the women who made the complaints (and, since you brought up McShane, his conduct as well). The report is linked in one of my comments. You may not find it credible, but I see no reason to doubt its credibility.

I don't find his success rate in soliciting sex to be relevant. It is entirely possible to commit sexual harassment without actual intercourse taking place, and we lock people up for attempted murder all the time. It's not about the outcome, it's about the behavior. He used his position as Alderman to meet these women and then solicited sex from them. The report found that because the Alderman held no power over these women, it didn't rise to the level of criminal sexual harassment. That is a point I do not mean to diminish, but just because it was not technically illegal, that doesn't mean that I find it acceptable behavior, nor do I think it's an appropriate use of the position of Alderman.

McShane did attempt to report the behavior to the proper authorities (the council, the mayor). Unfortunately, there simply ISN'T a proper channel for these types of issues and no established enforcement mechanisms. That is a problem by itself. Lacking an appropriate private forum, McShane chose a public forum. You are welcome to think of that decision what you like, but it seems to me like a position where there really were no good choices.

If you have better evidence than what I've provided, please provide it; right now you are just adding additional speculation.

JerryR

PP - then you don't trust the demo's who run the city?? They had the report done. I guess they're not that woke after all. That's strange from a demo like yourself...Go figure!

Awteam2021

KM, Actually in Maryland a variety of different crimes could be charged if prosecutors believe you attempted to exchange something of value for sexual acts, even mentoring. It’s taken seriously. Elected political officers are not exempt. So, what explicitly were the attempts? Yes you don’t have to commit murder, attempting to do so is a crime.

I’m just asking, what did he say or do, what were the attempts to solicit sex? I haven’t been informed. Have you? Other then conjecture (guesses).

JerryR

BTW - this ain't gonna haunt me. Obviously it's haunting you. 🤣🤣

phydeaux994

Jerry, do you believe that Joe Biden won the Presidency fair and square and deserves the chance to put his Policies into effect to determine whether or not they will be successful? The previous two Democratic Presidents were successful after inheriting a failed Republican Administration.

JerryR

Fido - I wouldn't call O'Bummer successful as he was a puppet - kinda like a Manchurian candidate. He spoke well, but that was it. But as of right now, although i don't like Sleepy Joe Biden, I think he's as sleezy as Trump, I will give him the benefit of the doubt although it feels like there is someone behind the scenes working his strings too. Something is not right with this administration - it could be the AOC's and her ilk pushing their agenda. I don't know. I know you're going to yell conspiracy theory, but it's just a feeling I have - something ain't right with Sleepy Joe but it'll flush out in the end. I hope for all our sakes, it doesn't.

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