The Washington Post is reporting today on charges of assault in the first degree, made by Maryland police in 2006, against Broad Run supervisor, Shawn Williams. The charges were dismissed, so no trial (and, therefore, no verdict) followed.
Williams, who has been a popular vice-chair of the Loudoun board of supervisors, withdrew from the race for chair of the board when stories emerged of him having prior problems with law enforcement. Since those came out, Williams has said he will not run for any office this year. Instead, he will leave office after his term is over, which runs through the end of this year.
Public life often results in private matters coming to general attention. If his 2006 arrest, which Williams attributes to alcohol and other problems he has since worked to control, were the only issues to come to light, he might be heralded as a remade man. However, with some of his problems taking place as recently as 2013, it does seem that his energies should go back into taking care of his family and himself, before looking for another opportunity for public service.
Some are calling for his resignation. Williams says he will complete his term. He insists that none of his personal dilemmas have had an adverse effect on his work or votes as a county supervisor. Unless some evidence to the contrary emerges, I am inclined to agree with his decision. Williams attributes the emergence of his troubles to his Republican nominating-contest opponent, Charlie King. King denies being involved. Either way, to resign now would only encourage future use of the politics of destruction. If he continues to perform as he has from the dais so far, Williams should complete his term, and then return to private life.
Whatever else it may be, this is a saddening moment in Loudoun’s political history.