Family and friends of former D.C. Delegate and Civil Rights icon Walter Fauntroy have grown increasingly concerned following reports that a bench warrant had been issued for his arrest. The warrant, issued by the Prince George’s County sheriff’s office, stems from a $50,000 bounced check Fauntroy allegedly wrote to cover a 2009 Presidential Inauguration event for Barack Obama.
The 82-year-old pastor and former aide to Martin Luther King Jr., alarmed those close to him when he failed to attend the funeral of long-time friend and former D.C. Mayor Marion Barry, and more recently, neglected to take part in commemoration activities surrounding the 50th anniversary of the Selma-Montgomery March.
While Fauntroy’s attorney, Art Reynolds Jr., said he believes he may be in any of a number of African nations, his interview with WUSA9’s Bruce Johnson suggests he has, in fact, spoken with Fauntroy and advised him legally of his options. Reynolds confirmed that Fauntroy’s passport has been revoked as a result of the warrant.
“I have advised him that in the event he comes back into the country, whenever he gets into customs, the bench warrant would pop up on the computers and he would be taken into custody,” Reynolds said.
According to Johnson, Fauntroy’s mental state and living accommodations are uncertain, as well as any sources of income he has while abroad.
Judges generally issue bench warrants for contempt of court or for persons who fail to appear at scheduled hearings.
A State Department official said in response to our inquiry on Fauntroy that “due to privacy laws and restrictions, we do not comment on specific cases. The Department of State revokes passports for the reasons set forth in the federal regulations.”
Calls by the AFRO to the Director of Communications Sharon Taylor in the Prince George’s County Sheriff’s Office had not been returned by press time.