Prince George's County Councilmember Mel Franklin (Dist. 9) cast considerable doubt on his fitness for office in his recent DUI charge resulting from an accident while driving a county-owned vehicle. Progressive Prince George's has called for his resignation and more past accidents with county vehicles have come to light.
/PM BlogSpace Report/ As media first reported Nov. 30 on Prince George’s County Dist. 9 Councilmember Mel Franklin’s being charged with DUI a week prior (Nov. 21), driving a county-owned vehicle that was involved in a serious at-fault accident resulting in injuries, Progressive Prince George’s issued the statement shown below , demanding that he resign his office. Franklin has since been identified as responsible for two previous accidents while driving county-owned vehicles, one of which was not reported to police.
Progressive Prince George’s Nov. 30 statement on the conduct of Councilmember Mel Franklin:
Progressive Prince George's is shocked and disappointed to hear of Councilman Mel Franklin’s dangerous decision to drive while under the influence of alcohol last week. His choice resulted in two people, who were stopped at a red light when his car slammed into theirs from behind, being injured and sent to the hospital for treatment. According to media reports, Councilman Franklin inexcusably walked away from the scene of the crash, and was found 70 yards away by police. Fortunately, no one was killed.
When Councilman Franklin was sworn into office, he promised to uphold the laws of our state and county and by choosing to drive drunk, he violated that oath. As residents, we deserve better from our elected representatives and consequently we are calling for his immediate resignation. This latest incident is part of a pattern of lack of regard for our laws on Councilman Franklin's part that is not becoming of a County Council person. His disregard for the law, which resulted in personal injury and property damage, call into serious question whether Councilman Franklin can be entrusted with public responsibility. We also call on his council colleagues to strip him of all committee posts.
Further, we expect full and immediate transparency from the county on the charges against him in this matter, subsequent legal proceedings, and regarding all prior vehicular accidents in which Councilman Franklin has been responsible. Councilman Franklin owes the County citizens an explanation about why he did not immediately disclose his transgression - waiting more than a week and until after the incident was leaked to the media. Such lack of transparency and honesty are unbecoming of an elected official. As taxpayers, we demand that he personally assume full financial responsibility for any property damage and medical bills resulting from his actions that evening.