WASHINGTON (7News) — Christopher Geldart has served as a top D.C. official for years but Monday afternoon, he was scheduled to be arraigned on assault charges in Arlington, Va. A court hearing has been set for Dec. 8 at 9:30 a.m. for his assault and battery charge, according to court documents.
Geldart did not show up for his arraignment Monday. Instead, his lawyer Karen Riley Porter filed an appearance on his behalf stating that the defendant "waives his arraignment date."
Geldart has been with the Department of Public Works, with Homeland Security, and now has resigned as the Deputy Mayor for Public Safety and Justice in the District of Columbia after being accused of grabbing a personal trainer by the neck in the parking lot of a Gold’s Gym in Arlington earlier this month.
Additionally, questions about his residency status have also been raised. A police report lists his residency as Falls Church, Virginia, and under the D.C. code for high-level officials, that is a violation.
7News has been pressing the city to see if it is checking on the residency of other top officials. Longtime city activist Terry Lynch said the deputy mayor for public safety cannot allow his personal conduct to distract from the mission of public safety right now.
RELATED | DC Deputy Mayor Chris Geldart resigns following assault charges, Bowser says
“And unfortunately Geldart let that happen. Whatever happened at that dust-up at that parking lot and then the questions about where was he residing, was he even living in the city? Those are distractions and they can’t happen,” said Lynch, Executive Director of the Downtown Cluster of Congregations.
When asked where he lives? Geldart said he was “Geo bacheloring” -- a term used in military circles to describe an arrangement where service members live apart from their families, often with other military personnel. Before landing the deputy mayor job, he led the city’s Homeland Security and Emergency Management Agency for five years. He resigned in 2017, shortly after an office of the Inspector General report concluded he had committed ethics violations. Lynch said the silver lining is now maybe the mayor can appoint a change agent to this critical position, who is known in the community.
“Right now public safety is the most critical issue in the city, what happened yesterday, it was a terrible day for the city. A 15-year-old killed, we had a 2-year-old found unresponsive. When you’re the deputy mayor, you’re the face for public safety, and fortunately, Geldhart did the right thing, he offered his resignation, he’s not going to be a distraction,” said Lynch.
RELATED | 'It was bullying.' Gym trainer speaks out on confrontation with DC Deputy Mayor Geldart
Geldart, a former Marine, said he stayed part-time with his family in Falls Church, Virginia.
Kevin Donahue will be the interim deputy mayor. He lives in the Chevy Chase neighborhood of the District.