Earlier this week, Shawn Williams, Supervisor for the Broad Run district of Loudoun county, withdrew from the race for Chairman of the Board. Unfortunately, that doesn’t go far enough. Williams must resign from the Board of Supervisors immediately.[read_more]
Supervisor Williams admits in a statement to numerous charges of driving under the influence. He also admits that he was taken into custody in Maryland following an “altercation” with a former girlfriend. What Williams doesn’t say is that the altercation in question resulted in his arrest for first-degree assault. The definition of first-degree assault in Maryland,
First-degree assault occurs when someone causes serious physical injury to another person. Under Maryland criminal law, serious physical injury means that the victim could have died or was permanently disfigured or disabled due to the altercation.
First-degree assault is a very serious crime, and it comes with a very serious penalty. Specifically, if you are convicted of first-degree assault, a judge may sentence you to a maximum of 25 years in prison.
The details regarding this case have not yet been publicly released, but they will be soon (not by us). We have learned the details, and understand the damage they will do to Williams, his family, his supporters, and his fellow Republicans in Loudoun. This incident was horrific, and Williams’ behavior was shameful and absolutely indefensible.
But the undisclosed bad news doesn’t end there. Among other incidents, last summer Supervisor Williams had yet another physical altercation, this time with a neighbor. He says he remains friends with the neighbor despite the neighbor’s call to the sheriff’s office following the altercation. (What adult gets in physical altercations with anyone? It’s never the way to handle a disagreement.)
Many times when bad news surfaces about a political figure the best advice is to grit your teeth and wait for the story to get worse before it then gets better, and fades into memory. In this instance, there is no getting better. It will only get worse. This story will not go away, and will be hung around the necks of all of Shawn Williams supporters and fellow Board of Supervisors members for the rest of the election season. Every interview with a candidate will first revolve around the candidate’s views on Shawn Williams’ indefensible conduct. It will undeniably have a negative effect on every republican candidate in Loudoun, who democrats will portray as helping to protect and empower Shawn Williams.
The Loudoun Board of Supervisors went after Eugene Delgaudio, stripping him of his staff, removing all funds to operate his office, and removing all of his committee assignments when Supervisor Delgaudio had done nothing wrong. They dragged him through the mud, said terrible things about him, and yet he was completely exonerated. He had never committed any crime. He had never been arrested for any crime. That is not the case with Supervisor Williams.
The upcoming stories from major media outlets will be in the news for weeks, if not months. In the meantime, each of the supervisors running for re-election will be forced to answer why the board was quick to persecute Delgaudio when he had done nothing, while they are now content to sit on the dais with Shawn Williams who has had multiple convictions for drunk driving, who has first degree assault charges, and a history of violent altercations with neighbors and domestic problems that have resulted in multiple interventions by law enforcement. Every republican in Loudoun will be tainted by the actions of Williams. Republican candidates will be forced to defend Williams as long as he is in office, sharing the dais with them. Democrats will we screaming about the Republican War on Women and accusing the party of being soft on drunk driving.
It’s never a good thing when an elected official has to resign from office because of their behavior. We take no joy in what this means for those involved. Our party and our candidates—not to mention Shawn and those close to him—will suffer because of his conduct, and the only way to lessen that suffering is for Williams to go now.
Republicans must show that we do not condone the repeated threats to others’ lives displayed by Williams’ repeated bad behavior. It brings us sadness to say this, but Williams must resign and get the help that he needs for his drinking and anger problems. He needs to do the right thing and resign for his fellow board members and his party.