BY KATY BURNELL
Former UMW President William Frawley was found guilty Friday in Fairfax County of Driving While Intoxicated—his second drunk driving conviction of the week.
A Fairfax judge ordered Frawley to serve 30 days in jail, but immediately suspended the sentence. The judge also suspended all but $300 of a $1,000 fine, and restricted Frawley’s license for a year.
Frawley had entered an Alford Plea to the Fairfax charge, stemming from an incident on April 10 when he totaled a university foundation-owned vehicle near Great Falls. Frawley was also arrested the following day, April 11, on a separate drunk driving charge in Fredericksburg. He was convicted of that charge on Tuesday, Sept. 18, three days before his hearing in Fairfax.
An Alford Plea means Frawley didn’t admit guilt, but did acknowledge that the Fairfax court had sufficient evidence to find him guilty. His blood alcohol level at the time of his Fairfax arrest was two-and-a-half times the legal limit. He also entered an Alford Plea in Fredericksburg.
School officials seemed relieved that Frawley’s legal problems have now been resolved.
“The whole thing has just been a very sad tragedy,” said Nina Mikhalevsky, vice president for strategy and policy and acting provost.
Faculty Senate President Steve Fuller, who co-authored a letter of support for the ousted president in the wake of his arrests, echoed Mikhalevsky’s sentiments.
“It’s kind of a lamentable situation when bad judgment results in your career crashing down around you,” Fuller said.
The only University employee to show up at Frawley’s Fairfax hearing, Teresa Mannix of the University Relations department, said that Frawley did not speak a word during the hearing.
“The whole thing was over in a matter of minutes,” Mannix said.
Maria Frawley, an English professor at GWU, was on-hand Friday to support her husband during the Fairfax hearing.
Both Frawley and his wife declined to comment on the outcome of his court dates.
Frawley’s defense attorney Paul Greenspun did not respond to requests for comment.
Nina Mikhalevsky, who worked alongside Frawley during his tenure as Academic Dean of George Washington University’s Columbian College of Arts and Sciences before following him to Mary Washington last year, says she has not spoken with him since his arrests.
“My feeling is that the University has moved on and we’re looking forward to hiring a new president,” Mikhalevsky said.
No University administrators have spoken with Frawley since his troubles began last April when he flipped a University foundation-owned Toyota Avalon.
This Fairfax County accident on April 10 set about a bizarre series of events ending in the Board of Visitor’s termination of Frawley that same month.
The only tie left between the University and former President William J. Frawley is an ongoing mediation process that Frawley requested this summer following his termination “for cause.”
Board of Visitors Rector Bill Poole, who would not comment on the details of the mediation, said that the $30,000 UMW Foundation-owned Avalon could factor into the discussions.
The UMW Foundation bought Acting President Rick Hurley a brand-new Saturn Aura with the insurance collected from Frawley’s single-vehicle accident.
Hurley said that the scope of his responsibilities as interim president did not fully hit him until the first time he pulled his Saturn into the President’s parking space.
He recalls feeling initially hesitant to park in his designated space.
“It was odd. The whole thing was just bizarre,” Hurley said. “I stared at the sign for a long time and said to myself ‘I never thought for a million years that I’d be in this position.’”