LOUDOUN COUNTY, VA. - A Loudoun County supervisor was charged with two misdemeanors on Sunday after police said he strong-armed his way into a neighbor's home and shoved the man during a dispute, prompting the chairman of the county board to call for his resignation.
Shawn Williams, a 44-year-old Republican who acknowledged this year that he has a history of drunken driving and domestic violence charges, was charged with simple assault and unlawful entry following the dispute early Sunday at his neighbor's house in Ashburn.
Williams has resigned his position on the Loudoun County Board of Supervisors effective immediately. Mr. Williams submitted his resignation to Chairman Scott York Sunday afternoon. Sheriff's deputies took him to the county jail, and he was set for release later Sunday, the sheriff's office said in a statement.
Scott York, the Republican chairman of the county's Board of Supervisors, said in a statement that the incident was alcohol-related.
"Unfortunately, it has become clear that Supervisor Williams has a serious substance abuse problem. At this time, I believe that he should focus full-time on getting the help that he needs," York said. "While the board does not have the authority to remove him from office, I am asking Supervisor Williams to resign his position on the Board of Supervisors."
A spokesman for the sheriff's office said he did not know whether Williams had an attorney. A home telephone listed for Williams was disconnected, and he and his staff aide did not immediately return emails seeking comment on Sunday morning.
A former Marine who works as a corporate lawyer for Sprint, Williams was elected to the board in 2011 and served as its vice chairman from January 2013 until March, when his past legal problems came to light. He said in a statement at the time that he had undergone treatment for substance abuse and anger management.
In 2006, Williams was charged with first-degree and second-degree assault after police said he repeatedly beat his then-girlfriend in Ocean City, Maryland. Prosecutors later dropped the charges. Williams acknowledged the incident and said it occurred during a dark time in his life when he was abusing alcohol. He said he met his current wife, Joy, a year later. The couple has three children.
Following his resignation, Shawn Williams released the statement below this morning, which the county released on his behalf:
"Yesterday I resigned my position as the Broad Run District representative on the Loudoun County Board of Supervisors. I want to apologize to my family, colleagues, neighbors, friends and constituents for this disappointment. My understanding is that a succession plan is currently being worked out that will ensure the Broad Run District has good representation on the Board of Supervisors through the end of the year.
On Saturday night after a long neighborhood party, I confronted my good friend and neighbor after he gave me what I know was intended as friendly advice. I want to specifically apologize to him and his family for my actions. This poor decision highlights a personal shortcoming that can no longer be denied or compartmentalized. It has become painfully clear I need help with my alcohol abuse and I am getting professional help. Please keep my family in your thoughts and prayers at this time."
- Shawn M. Williams