Commissioners Say It's Time to Move on from Williams Investigation
Covington City Commissioner Michelle Williams spoke publicly Tuesday night for the first time about the probe of her past criminal record.
"I want to thank all of my supporters. It's been a very difficult time," Williams said. "I want to thank the Attorney General for his findings."
Williams spoke at the conclusion of Tuesday night's city commission meeting following remarks of support from fellow City Commissioner Mildred Rains.
"I want to talk about Commissioner Williams," Rains said during the commissioners comments portion of the meeting. "Some people have brought up her past. What she does now is the most important thing."
Rains rattled off a list of good that Williams does in the community, including her volunteer work at OASIS, Inc in Covington's Eastside. Rain also complimented Williams for being what she characterized as a thorough commissioner who reads every document that comes through.
These were the first comments made publicly by either Williams or Rains on the matter since it was revealed in June that Williams had several run-ins with the law, including one as recently as 2010. While much of the criminal record involved traffic violations, others included assault, theft, and drug possession.
Williams was also court-martialed during her time in the United States Army.
Kenton County Attorney Garry Edmondson looked into Williams' record and determined that she did not qualify to hold office based on the Kentucky Constitution's mandate that elected officials not be convicted of felonies or high misdemeanors. Williams had never been convicted of a felony but Edmondson concluded that several of her convictions qualify as high misdemeanors.
Attorney General Jack Conway disagreed with Edmondson's interpretation of the convictions and also that Edmondson ever had the authority to issue such a claim in the first place.
On Monday, Edmondson continued his quest to see Williams ousted from office when he asked to be appointed as a special attorney general. Conway's office declined that offer.
City Commissioner Steve Frank commented at The River City News Facebook page, "It's time to move on. ...By the time anything definitive is decided it will already be time for the next election. I understand people's feelings on both sides of this issue. What also concerns me is the legal status of any vote we have taken if Commissioner Williams' vote helped for a 3-2 majority. At this point, most, if not all the facts are on the table and the people can decide if Michelle stays or goes."
Rains said Tuesday that the Attorney General has made his decision, "but that wasn't good enough for some people and they keep digging."
"(Williams) is a great person and a great commissioner."
Written by Michael Monks, editor & publisher of The River City News
Photo: Covington City Commission meets Tuesday night/RCN