Letter to the Editor: Don't prematurely condemn mayor-elect


Sunday, May 13, 2018

It is my desire to shed light on the venerable character of Robert Williams Jr., the newly elected mayor of Sharpsburg.

Robert is a member of our congregation at Ebenezer Baptist Church and has been a member there for over 22 years and currently serves as a deacon. Robert has faithfully served our church, his communit, and his country with both dignity and honor.

Robert has served both as a soldier in the United States military in the Middle East and as a peace officer in North Carolina. He is a man of character who believes in serving others.

On Tuesday, May 8, after Mr. Williams’ electoral victory, he was pulled over while allegedly driving under the influence, among other alleged violations. Indeed, I am concerned about the circumstances around the post-election traffic stop that gave rise to the incident and the subsequent charges. We expect the truth of this escapade will be revealed in the courts, but we know the man who has sought our votes is a man who respects and obeys the law.

While we do not condone the allegations of what has been reported, we do not prematurely condemn him. These attacks on the character of a public servant are hurtful, especially when they are not completely truthful. Furthermore, they attempt to undermine the clear statement from the voters of Sharpsburg that actually seeks change in their local leadership.

The surrounding circumstances that are not being discussed necessitate the need to raise pertinent questions for knowledge-sharing purposes for the public to consider, including: Why was the special election held May 8 conducted in the first place? What would happen if the SBI investigated the irregularities and potential injustices of Mr. Williams’s accusers — namely the Sharpsburg Police Department and other areas of the Sharpsburg city government? Will it be found out if there are members of said police department that could not pass a drug test? How long will questionable voting practices continue in the Sharpsburg community that disenfranchises its citizens?

The suspicious circumstances of this pullover indicates that some who were unhappy about Robert Williams and his message further resonate that it’s time for the government in Sharpsburg to represent all of the people in the town. The citizens of Sharpsburg clearly demonstrated their desire to have fresh direction for the town and smart leadership that will enhance the quality of living in the community.

The Rev. Dr. Thomas L. Walker

Ebenezer Baptist Church