The Reverend Walter E. Fauntroy has had a long and storied career. He is perhaps best known for being the first person in the modern era to serve as the at large congressional representative for the District of Columbia, holding the post from 1971 until he stepped down in 1990. He also ran for President twice. Things began to take a turn for Fauntroy in 1995 though, when he plead guilty to a felony charge of filing a false disclosure statement after claiming to have made a significant donation to a church which, er… didn’t happen. More legal trouble was to follow.
But now there is more of a mystery to solve. Reverend Fauntroy seems to have disappeared.
No one knows where former Congressman Walter Fauntroy is. And his friends, his family — and the police — would all like to know.
During a Wednesday press conference, however, friends of the former civil rights leader and D.C. delegate to Congress dropped a few hints.
During the press conference, held at the United Black Fund offices in Southeast Washington, D.C., Fauntroy’s associates said he is on an undisclosed “mission” in Africa that may have something to do with green technologies or helping disadvantaged people or something like that, though they are not positive where he is and why he is not in Maryland handling the warrant for his arrest.
Johnny Barnes, Fauntroy’s attorney, told The Washington City Paper he believes Fauntroy is in Dubai, but he is not certain.
It seems the the former Congressman has been gone since 2012. His family home in Maryland is in foreclosure and a group of friends and family members are asking for help so that they don’t lose the place. (His wife is still living there.) He’s still alive, though, because he and the Mrs. filed for bankruptcy protection just this month. It seems they took out a $650,000 mortgage on the property but defaulted on it a couple of years ago.
None of that is why he’s wanted by the law, though. That seems to involve a $55K bum check he wrote for a 2009 Obama inauguration party which also, er… didn’t happen. Perhaps I’m just a bit too jaded and cynical here, but I seem to be detecting a pattern.
This is a rather unusual charitable effort to say the least. I’m sure none of the friends of the family want to see Mrs. Fauntroy put out of her home, but it’s not every day that you see a fundraiser being held for someone who is essentially a fugitive on the run from an arrest warrant. And this isn’t even the sort of crime where you wind up doing a lot of hard time, nor are the amounts of money in question shockingly large. Given his history as both a man of the cloth and his popularity among powerful, liberal politicos, it’s not difficult to imagine him getting off with a fine and not even going to jail.
Still, they’re asking for help, and if you’d like to pitch in a few bucks for some reason you can find the details at the link above. And for now, the search for the missing congressman goes on.