Residents of Stillwater, New York are left stunned today after learning that their elected mayor, Rick Nelson, has been arrested on grounds of possessing child pornography.


Rick Nelson has been serving as the mayor of Stillwater since 2015, after defeating his opponent, Ernest Martin, in a 196-132 vote landslide. Prior to serving as mayor, Nelson owned and operated The Works landscaping, snow removal, and handyman business for 27 years, according to an article published in the Times Union. The report also states that Nelson had served on the village Zoning Board of Appeals and the Stillwater Waterfront Revitalization Committee.


A press release from the New York State Police says that the investigation began after officers with the Computer Crimes Unit indicated that child pornography had been downloaded from a Stillwater IP address. After a lengthy investigation, authorities were able to trace the IP to Rick Nelson.

Nelson was arrested at his home on August 31, 2017, after investigators obtained a warrant. He has been charged with promoting a sexual performance by a child and possessing a sexual performance by a child. Police say there is no reason for them to suspect that any of the material had been viewed on city property.

Nelson is currently sitting in Sarasota County Jail in lieu of paying his $50,000 bond. His next hearing is set for early September.