Small town scandal: MAYOR and church deacon resigns amid child pornography accusations

The mayor of a town in upstate New York has resigned after he was arrested Thursday on child pornography charges.

Rick Nelson, 62, mayor of the Village of Stillwater, officially resigned from office on Friday, a day after he was arrested for child pornography. He was charged Thursday with one felony count each of promoting a sexual performance by a child and one count of possessing a sexual performance by a child, according to NBC New York.

The investigation into Nelson began when the Computer Crimes Unit found and IP address in Stillwater that had downloaded child pornography images. After obtaining and executing a search warrant Thursday morning, police arrested Nelson in his home.

The married father of one replaced the longest running leader in the village’s history in April 2015. He was a member, deacon, and officer in the Stillwater United Church, according to the village’s website.

His son, Patrick Nelson, is currently running for congress in New York’s 21st Congressional District.

According to The Daily Gazzette, Nelson was replaced by Deputy Mayor Frank Tatum. The village released a statement that said it planned to “continue to move forward…despite the surprising arrest.”

Tatum assured the people of Stillwater that the village would be able to move on from the incident.

“This has been an incredibly difficult day for the Village of Stillwater and we’re certainly going to be facing some challenging times ahead. But we are a very dedicated group and I am confident that we will get past this. In the meantime, we have an important job to do and the village and its residents are still our No. 1 priority.”

Nelson was arraigned in the Town of Saratoga Court on Friday. He was sent to the Saratoga Town Jail on a $50,000 bond, and was released after posting $25,000.

He is set to appear in court again on Wednesday.


Feature photo: Stillwater Police Department