Embattled Ward 22 Alderman Drew King, who was arrested multiple times in recent months on charges ranging from assault to violating a protective order, resigned Thursday afternoon in the face of community pressure and after what he said were exhausting months of tribulation.
Although King still maintains his innocence — a woman has said the alderman hit her in a dispute over a hot dog several days before Christmas — he has acknolwedged that he may have a substance abuse problem. Last month, King checked into a rehabilitation center, which he said did not allow enough for enough time to remain on the Board.
“I’m resigning because first of all, number one, the ward still has got go on, things still need to be done, and I want those things to get done,” he said, adding that “you just get to the point where you just get tired, and I’m at that point.”
King said he recently met with Mayor John DeStefano Jr., who “opened my eyes to a lot of things,” and helped him realize that he did not want to hinder the city — in progress or in its image.
“He was a blessing for me,” King said.
In a written statement, DeStefano said the city needed “fresh, new energy and new ideas to get past this resignation,” even though some of his colleagues on the Board of Aldermen may “miss him.”
“The city, the board and the Dixwell community now look to move forward from these troubles the past couple of months and focus on a positive agenda,” he said.
A special run-off election will be held in 45 days to fill the vacant seat. The winner will serve a significant number of Yale students, such as most students who live in Ezra Stiles College, Morse College, Swing Space, Pierson College and Davenport College.
Likely candidates include Ward 22 co-chairs Cordelia Thorpe, who said she will be running in the special election, and Shaneane Ragin, who ran in 2004 on a ticket for co-chair with another Yale student. There has also been speculation that Ward 1 Alderman Nick Shalek ’05 might switch wards, and Ward 22 would be a logical choice. But Shalek declined to comment recently on such a possibility.