D.C. Mayor Muriel Bowser said a review of all claims against Deputy Mayor for Public Safety Chris Geldart, including his compliance with the District’s residency requirement, is ongoing after he allegedly assaulted a man in Arlington, Virginia.
During a news conference Friday, Bowser responded to reported concerns that Geldart doesn’t meet the requirements for mayoral cabinet officials in the District to reside within the city’s boundaries.
“I am looking into all of the matters that have been brought up this week,” she said. “We have a process here, and I’m going through the process.”
A news release from police about the incident in Arlington listed Geldart as a Falls Church, Virginia, resident.
WTOP’s news partner NBC Washington reported that Geldart rents an apartment in Southeast — where he’s registered to vote and pay taxes.
Bowser said that the District’s law provides for exceptions to the residency requirements, but she never approved any such waiver for Geldart.
“I don’t give hardship waivers. I haven’t to this point, and I can’t recall ever reviewing one,” she said.
However, Bowser acknowledged that she was aware of cabinet members with second homes outside of the District or who rented homes in the city. When asked if residency requirements placed on officials need to be examined or revised, she said that she is “going through the process.”
“I know that people have second homes,” she said.
She did not give an approximate timeline for her review.
“I have a responsibility to people who vote for me, who expect me to act in a certain way, and the people who work for us to act in a certain way,” Bowser said.
City Administrator Kevin Donahue has taken charge of D.C.’s enforcement agencies while a review of the assault and Geldart’s residency is underway.
Geldart is accused of assault and battery after allegedly fighting with a man outside of a Gold’s Gym in the 3900 block of Wilson Boulevard Saturday afternoon. A police report notes that Geldart “allegedly grabbed the victim by the throat.” He turned himself in and was released on a court summons.