Prosecutors have dropped charges against former D.C. Deputy Mayor Christopher Geldart on Tuesday, ending a monthlong legal battle that began when the official was accused of assault and later resigned from office due to questions about his living arrangement.
Prosecutors with the Arlington County Commonwealth’s Attorney’s Office asked a county judge to drop the charges against the former D.C. deputy mayor of public safety and justice, who resigned in October after being accused of assaulting a personal trainer in the parking lot of a local gym.
The reasoning behind the desire to drop charges isn’t clear, but the request came after prosecutors played a video in court that showed a witness describing the incident as a “mutual thing” but with Geldart’s accuser as “the primary aggressor.”
Prosecutors acknowledged Dustin Woodward, who accused Geldart of assault, was “not pleased” with their decision.
“I don’t agree with the charges being dropped,” Woodward told the judge. “This is not OK.”
However, Judge R. Frances O’Brien agreed to drop the case.
“Was it handled well by either party?” the judge asked. “Probably not.”
The abrupt decision to drop charges comes one month after Geldart resigned from office amid the fallout of his assault charges. The ex-deputy mayor was accused of assaulting Woodward during a verbal dispute that occurred after he allegedly opened his car door into the trainer’s vehicle.
A subsequent police statement triggered questions into Geldart’s living situation because officials listed him as residing in Virginia, which would be in violation of city law that states high-level local officials must live in the district during their term.
Geldart later defended his living situation, telling the Washington Post he lived part-time with his family in Falls Church, Virginia, while also living with a friend and former colleague in Washington, D.C. The former deputy mayor said Tuesday that he has not re-signed his D.C. lease since leaving his government job.
D.C. Mayor Muriel Bowser announced in mid-October she had accepted Geldart’s resignation after speaking with him “face to face.” However, she declined to disclose what prompted him to step down from office, arguing the “questions being raised are distracting from his job and my job.”