Virginia Mayor Resigns After Meth-For-Sex Arrest

By McCarton Ackerman 08/09/16

The third-term mayor who also worked as a substitute teacher was arrested last week after unsuccessfully trying to exchange meth for group sex.

Virginia Mayor Resigns After Meth-For-Sex Arrest
Photo Associated Press/YouTube

The mayor of Fairfax City, Virginia, has found himself at the front of what is arguably the state’s biggest political scandal this year, after he allegedly tried to trade meth for group sex with an undercover officer.

The Washington Post reported that R. Scott Silverthorne, 50, was charged with felony distribution of methamphetamine and misdemeanor possession of paraphernalia. He admitted to Fairfax County police that he distributed drugs. Capt. Jack Hardin, commander of the Fairfax County police organized crime unit, said an investigation into the mayor began last month after a tip that he “was involved with a website,” through which he would allegedly exchange meth for sex.

Detectives created a fake profile on the site and Silverthorne reportedly contacted them two days later, claiming he could provide drugs in exchange for group sex. After arranging the sting at a local hotel last Thursday, Silverthorne’s meth supplier arrived and gave him two grams of the drug. The police then arrested the mayor and an acquaintance. The meth dealer was also arrested.

“The sad thing is you can spend 30 years building up your reputation and lose it in 30 minutes,” said City Council member David L. Meyer. “I think I can speak collectively that we’re concerned for the future of the city as well, but the city is greater than one person and we’re going to persevere."

Silverthorne was transported to the Fairfax County Jail and released on his own recognizance. He is expected to be formally arraigned on Wednesday.

Silverthorne has been terminated from his position as a substitute teacher for Fairfax County. And on Monday, the three-term mayor officially announced his resignation, effective on Thursday, August 11. 

The scandal against Silverthorne is especially unfortunate because, according to the Post, he was widely recognized as a champion of the community, helping to establish a park in downtown Fairfax City, among other accomplishments.

“My heart breaks for this man, because obviously he’s facing tremendous personal challenges,” said Tom Ammazzalorso, who lost to Silverthorne in the mayoral election in May. “That’s not the way to conclude your political career. That’s absolutely terrible. It’s absolutely heartbreaking.”

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McCarton Ackerman is a freelance writer and editor living in Portland, Oregon. He has been a contributor for The Fix since October 2011, writing on a wide range of topics ranging from medical marijuana in Colorado to the world's sexiest drug smugglers. Follow him on Linkedin and Twitter.