Former Virginia Mayor Says Meth Arrest Helped Him Confront His Addiction

By Britni de la Cretaz 06/15/17

Silverthorne was busted by an undercover officer while attempting to trade meth for sex last August.

Scott Silverthorne
Scott Silverthorne Photo YouTube

Former mayor of Fairfax, Virginia, Scott Silverthorne, was released from prison after serving three months for drug distribution.

Last August, Silverthorne was caught by undercover officers he met on a gay dating website after he handed them a baggie of meth in a hotel parking lot. Silverthorne was addicted to methamphetamine for 14 years, living what he called “a double life.”

The three-term mayor, who resigned after his arrest last fall, was sentenced to five years with all but three months suspended after pleading guilty. In an interview with NBC Washington, he said, "A good 14 years or so I have been using drugs ... but I was meticulous, I was careful until eventually I got caught. But the reality was that I never let it interfere with my city duties."

He continued, “I said from the very beginning, I want to accept responsibility for what I did, but I also want to make sure people know what I didn’t do.” Silverthorne says that his time in jail was the wake-up call he needed, and that for now, he has no plans to return to politics. At the time of his arrest, Silverthorne had also been working as a substitute teacher.

The arrest made national news last August as the “mayor trades meth for gay sex” scandal. According to People, the police report said, “Based on information obtained during the investigation, a suspect (Silverthorne) was identified who was allegedly distributing methamphetamine through a website used to arrange for casual sexual encounters between men."

According to the report, an undercover detective created a profile on the website and Silverthorne initiated contact with the fake profile. After some back-and-forth, the two communicated via text messaging and Silverthorne “advised that he could provide methamphetamine for sex,” the police said. The police report indicated that the agreed upon meeting was “for a group sexual encounter in exchange for methamphetamine.”

At his sentencing, Silverthorne reportedly told the judge that his arrest forced him to confront his drug addiction. He said he received hundreds of letters of support while he was in prison, and his supporters backed the courtroom at his sentencing.

Silverthorne said he believes he had so much support because people were grateful for all the good work he had done for the people of Fairfax and the fact that he had always treated people well. “I think it’s karma. I think it came back to me,” he said.

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Britni de la Cretaz is a freelance writer, baseball enthusiast, and recovered alcoholic living in Boston. Follow her on Twitter at @britnidlc.