Biden’s pick to lead HUD wrote letter of support for judge who beat, then killed, his wife

Democratic presidential nominee Joe Biden has picked an Ohio congresswoman to be his Housing and Urban Development secretary who once wrote a letter in support of a judge who beat and later killed his wife.

“Joe Biden’s pick for HUD Secretary is Rep. Marcia Fudge, who wrote this letter in 2015 in support of a judge who beat his wife so badly she needed reconstructive plastic surgery. She called him ‘a good man who made a bad mistake,’” the Washington Post’s Greg Price posted on Twitter with a screengrab of Fudge’s letter.

“He stabbed his wife to death three years later,” he added.

In 2014, Lance Mason, then an Ohio judge and former state House and Senate member, was arrested and charged with felonious assault and domestic violence after punching his wife, Aisha Fraser, 20 times before slamming her head against a car dash five times. The attack was so vicious she needed facial reconstructive surgery.

The couple’s two daughters, then 4 and 6, were in the vehicle at the time of their mother’s assault.

Fraser filed for a divorce two days after the attack. She also sued Mason in civil court, the Washington Post reported, and was awarded $150,000.

In her Aug. 9, 2015 letter to Cuyahoga County Prosecutor Timothy J. McGinty, Fudge said she’d known former Ohio judge and state senator Lance Mason for “more than 20 years,” and while she was “deeply saddened and disappointed” by what had happened.

However, she added, “I commend Lance for immediately recognizing that he needed help and entered counseling, which continues as of this writing. Further, he is working diligently to find a way to face what he has done to his family and his reputation.

“Lance accepts full responsibility for his actions and has assured me that something like this will never happen again,” Fudge wrote, noting further that he’s “a kind, intelligent man and a loyal friend.”

“The Lance T. Mason I know is an advocate for the people of his community. He is well respected and well-liked,” Fudge added. “Lance is a good man who made a bad mistake. I only hope that you can see in Lance what I and others see.”

Mason was eventually sentenced to nine months of a two-year prison sentence. In a letter to Fraser, he was required to write as part of his early release, he told her he “failed as a husband, father, and a man,” adding: “Instead of loving, protecting, and providing for you and our daughter, I have provided a terrible example, and exposed you to rage and violence.”

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In November 2018, police in Shaker Heights, Ohio, responded to a 911 call at a home early in the morning, in which a woman who identified herself as Mason’s sister told the dispatcher her brother admitted stabbing Fraser to death.

“I need the police immediately, my brother is attacking his ex-wife,” said the woman, who noted the attack occurred outdoors, according to WKYC. “He stabbed her, and he says she’s dead.”

Fudge was contemplating a run for House Speaker against then-Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.), but decided against it after reports of the letter and Mason’s murder came to light.

“My support of Lance in 2015 was based on the person I knew for almost 30 years — an accomplished lawyer, prosecutor, state legislator, and judge. That’s the Lance Mason I supported,” Fudge said in a statement at the time.

“The person who committed these crimes is not the Lance Mason familiar to me. They were horrific crimes, and I condemn them. I and everyone who knew Aisha are mourning her loss,” she added, the Washington Post reported.

Jon Dougherty

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