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Investigator With DA’s Office Gets Second Chance

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An Investigator with the District Attorney’s Office in Dekalb County who was charged with DUI over the weekend will not lose his job.

However, Gary Williams has been demoted, his salary cut drastically and he has been reassigned to administrative responsibilities upon his release from an in-house alcohol treatment facility, which he entered on Tuesday.

In a statement issued Tuesday, District Attorney Mike O’Dell said that Williams’ credentials have been suspended and his badge and gun have been forfeited, as have his law enforcement responsibilities.

Williams will also be responsible for damages to the state-owned automobile.

According to an earlier press release from the Fort Payne Police Department, at approximately 3:30am Saturday morning a witness observed a Black Dodge Charger, driven by Williams, hit a guardrail at Interstate 59 and Glenn Boulevard.

The vehicle continued north on Highway 35 toward Rainsville.

The witness followed the vehicle until Fort Payne Police Officer’s arrived.

Williams was charged with DUI and released on 1,000 dollars bond.

O’Dell says Williams admitted to committing the offense and will face any punishment handed out by the court like any other citizen.

If Williams fails to meet any of the requirements set out for his continued employment, he will be terminated immediately, according to O’Dell.

The entire statement from O’Dell is printed below:

“No one is beyond redemption….Gary Williams has acknowledged to me that he has committed a very serious offense—one that put himself and others at risk of serious, physical injury or even death. I am extremely grateful that the Lord did not allow that to happen. His actions brought embarrassment to this office and to his coworkers. I have been both angry at, and very disappointed with, him. But, I do not believe the right thing to do would be to abandon one of my co-workers, even under these very difficult circumstances—that is not who I am. Gary made a terrible mistake in judgment, and there will most certainly be consequences to be paid by him as a result of his actions. He should not, and will not be treated any differently than anyone else in his circumstances. He will have to face the DUI charge and abide by whatever punishment the court levies against him. But Gary Williams is a good man who has, heretofore, conducted himself with dignity and a strong work ethic. I will not allow his distinguished career to be defined by this one act. He has acknowledged that he is an alcoholic, and that he needs help. I agree. My office has never been just about punishment. Therefore, I am in the process of fashioning a plan that will require Gary to be held accountable for his actions, both to the court, and to me and the members of this office. His badge and gun have been forfeited, as have his law enforcement responsibilities. His credentials have been suspended. Additionally, he will be responsible for the damages to the automobile. However, it is my intent to include a restorative component to the process Mr. Williams will be going through, much like the drug court deals with addicts. I intend to give Mr. Williams an opportunity to get the help he needs to overcome his addition and to prove to me, and this community—including law enforcement—that he deserves a second chance. He will be on an extremely short leash. If he fails to meet any of the requirements set out for his continued employment, he will be terminated immediately. He has been demoted, his salary cut drastically, and he has been reassigned to administrative responsibilities to commence upon his release from an in-house alcohol treatment facility, which he entered today. His future is up to him. Restoring respect and trust among your colleagues, and the community we serve, is a very difficult task, but I believe Mr. Williams is capable of succeeding in this journey, and I commit to do all I can to help him obtain the help and rehabilitation he so desperately needs, in the hope that someday he might be restored to his former position.”

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