On January 17, Michael Pudhorodsky, who says he’s the president of a group called Generation Y, sent an e-mail to members of the Charlottesville media in anticipation of that night’s School Board meeting. “A member of Generation Y will be at every public meeting,” the press release stated, “calling for Dr. [Alvin] Edwards’ resignation until he decides to do so.”
Michael Pudhorodsky is throwing stones at city School Board member Alvin Edwards for his support of a convicted child molester even though NBC29 has pointed out that Pudhorodsky has his own criminal file.
As pastor of Mt. Zion First African Baptist Church, School Board member Alvin Edwards worked closely with his choir director, Jonathan Spivey, also the chorus teacher at Charlottesville High School (CHS). In September, Spivey was sentenced to 21 months in prison for sexual relationships with students. Despite his role on the School Board, Edwards attended the sentencing to support his disgraced parishioner. “I’m his pastor,” Edwards tersely explained when reached on the phone days afterward.
“We feel that he chose Mr. Spivey over the students and over the victims and that is an affront to the victims in the case,” says Pudhorodsky, who failed to attend the January 17 School Board meeting. “Really, the School Board has never addressed the issue and has never apologized.”
Although he now lives in New York, Pudhorodsky was raised in Charlottesville and went to CHS in the mid-1990s, when he knew Spivey and also got to know some of his victims. Now, with Spivey in prison, Pudhorodsky has turned his attention to Edwards.
“We kind of understand where he’s coming from as a pastor, we can kind of accept that,” says Pudhorodsky. “The other issue we have is that he preaches against homosexuality from the pulpit and what message is that saying to our lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender students?”
Edwards did not return calls but did issue a statement last week through his attorney that said in part: “Dr. Edwards’ performance of his responsibilities as a pastor should not be construed as approval of any criminal conduct.”
A day after reporting on this statement, NBC29’s Henry Graff took on Pudhorodsky’s past, revealing that he “is facing a felony charge of trying to sell stolen property. He’s been indicted and that case is pending in Charlottesville Circuit Court and he is out of jail on a $3,500 secure bond. In 2004, he was found guilty on a petty larceny charge. In 2003, he was found guilty for writing bad checks.”
“We all make our mistakes,” fumes Pudhorodsky, attributing Graff’s story to political pressure from high up in the city’s ranks.
“That is patently false,” responds Neal Bennett, NBC29’s news director.
Meanwhile, according to Pudhorodsky, there are three or four Generation Y representatives, including him, who plan on alternately attending each future School Board meeting. As of January 27, he was vowing to attend the next one on February 7.
“There’s still victims out there dealing with what happened every day of their lives and will continue to have to deal with it for a long time to come,” said Pudhorodsky. “Who speaks for them?”
After NBC29 aired another segment on his criminal past, though, the station reported on January 30 that Pudhorodsky had relented and would stop his pursuit of Edwards. The Charlottesville Newsplex reported February 1 that Pudhorodsky is wanted for failing to appear in Albemarle County Court on credit card theft charges.
Pudhorodsky could not be reached for further comment.
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