FIRST ON 3: Pender commissioner faces third DWI; colleagues did not know

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Submitted: Tue, 08/09/2011 - 3:59am
Updated: Tue, 08/09/2011 - 7:34pm

PENDER COUNTY, NC (WWAY) — Pender County Commissioner David Williams heads back to court in Mecklenburg County next month on a DWI charge. He was pulled over in Matthews in December.

Fellow Pender County Commissioners say they were shocked when we told them the news today and had no clue that this had happened. And it turns out that this is not the first time Commissioner Williams has had problems with drinking and driving.

According to criminal records, Williams was convicted twice for DWI: once in 1990 and again in 1994.

In December, Matthews Police pulled him over after they spotted “a suspicious vehicle stopped in the middle of” US 74. The report says Williams’s blood alcohol level of 0.15. Williams’s court date is next month.

Residents in Pender County were taken aback by the news.

“I don’t think anybody should be driving and drinking, especially someone representing the public,” said Margaret Jordan, who lives in Pender County.

“That just shows reckless behavior,” said Tarynn Cureton, who also lives in Pender County. “I mean you have to have integrity for your post if you’re a commissioner. It’s not like you work for a gas station, you’re a county commissioner. You should know better.”

Fellow commissioner F.D. Rivenbark says he was shocked to hear about the charge and previous convictions, but had nothing negative to say about Williams.

“The only comment I’d have on that is that he’s always been very nice to me,” Rivenbark said. “We’ve always worked together to take care of the needs of Pender County in the commission. His personal life is his personal life.”

Williams also has a history of speeding and other traffic violations.

We spoke with Williams by phone this afternoon. He said he did not want to comment about the charge. He says his lawyer has advised him to not say anything publicly.


  • Amber Johnston says:

    Mr. Williams,
    How can you choose not to support YOUR firefighters by not providing them the funding needed to buy equipment, provide training, coverage, protective gear etc. but be so careless on a public road behind the wheel of a car so that when you hurt/kill yourself or someone else they can’t respond as they should because you didnt support their needs. This is a sad day for pender county knowing who we have managing this county. David, be a man, step down and get some help. As for the rest of the BOCC, take this as a wake up call that you need to rethink your decision that you made about not providing the increase that Pender County VFD’s need to provide services to the people!!

  • Guest says:

    We are all in agreement that David made a mistake. A mistake he has made before, unfortunately. So if you want to bash him, this is the reason you should use. What most of you are forgetting is all the GOOD things he has accomplished for this county in the nine years he has been in office. This horrible mistake should have been admitted to when it happened, and not covered up, but it does not effect the job he has done for Pender County.

  • Guest says:

    I recall when David William demanded that so many good people on the BOH, all well trained professionals, be removed from the board of health because they did not agree with George Brown’s approach to public health (several board members subsequently resigned, citing Mr. Brown’s interference in the actions of the board). I doubt that any of the good people that Mr. Williams and Mr. Brown forced off the board of health ever exhibited such an appalling lack of judgment as driving while impaired, thereby placing innocent lives at undue risk.
    The number of times this behavior has occurred is a telling sign of a person in need of professional help. Do the right thing Mr. Williams, resign and get the help you so obviously need.

  • Guest says:

    Well he WAS voted in, guess the voters didn’t do a great check up to begin with! That does seem to be the problem with the voting public!

  • Rick H. says:

    I have had 3 or 4 phone conversations over the years with Dave Williams, he is an arrogant lier. He dislikes people from the north. He lied to every body in Hampstead when he told us that when they put in the water pipes about 5 years ago that our yards would be put back in the same condition as they were before. It cost me $1200.00 to repair the damage that the water pipe crews did to my yard. Dave Williams is the only person that has ever forced me to vote for a democrat in my 43 years of voting.

  • Jerry Taylor says:

    I am very sorry that David has a drinking problem. When I was a young man I had a cousion killed by a drunk driver. She was in her early 20s and had her 1 year old baby in the car with her…The little guy made it and is doing great today, but without the love of his mother…This was a very sad time in my life. I am sorry but I have no compassion for ANYONE that drinks and drives. YOU PUT EVERYBODY AROUND YOU AT RISK!!!! The person that said that I am not much of a mud slinger was correct, but I wanted to win the race fair and square. David you have let the people of Pender county down. They elected you to look out for them and instead all you did was look out for yourself. I am so tired of people getting elected and forgetting about the people that elected them. Its time we stand up and make a change in this county/state/country. David I will remember you and your family in my prays.

    David Please do the right thing.

  • concerned citizen says:

    I agree with the background check or maybe even drug test! Some would be suprised you never know anymore!!!!!!!!!!!!

  • Candy says:

    Pender County gets the political leadership that it wants, not what it deserves. Time for this whole bunch of idiots to go!!

  • SurfCityTom says:

    let’s hope he was not traveling to or from some meeting as a representative of Pender County.

  • Jack Griffith says:

    Almost one year ago Mr. Williams sent the following email to Mr. Brown condemning the BOH, demanding the “stacked” board’s resignations and attacking me (of course the Board of Commissioners appointed all the BOH members). Perhaps Mr. Williams should read his own email. He has surely embarrassed himself, his family, the Board of Commissioners, his employer and the people of Pender County. Mr. Williams, take your own advice and resign.

    —Original Message—
    From: “David Williams”
    Sent 8/19/2010 10:28:37 AM
    To: “Rick Benton” , “BOCC” , “Trey
    Cc: “Andy Pettigrew “‘ , ‘”Ken Clarke”‘ ,
    “Alfred Freimark GOP” , “Hampstead Chamber
    , “Chris May” ,, Bconstine@aacom,, “Landon Edwards”

    Subject: RE: Board of Health Questions
    It is quite obvious that the committee members are “stacked” and not being objective. This is probably not legal but I am OFFICIALLY REQUESTING that we ask the State of North Carolina to appoint an Interim Director. If not. then what happens if the Board of Commissioners DESOLVES the BOH? It COULD appear to some that the BOH just tried to skirt accountability by not doing it themselves. Could it be that some BOH members are afraid of professional backlash or damaging their business income due to decisions that they make on the B0H9999999999999999999999 If so, then they are not abiding by the -conflict of interest” that they should have checked on their application and should resign.This situation with the BOH is making Pender County look far worse that New Hanover did with their ABC Board fiasco. We as Commissioners must ultimately take the
    blame for not monitoring the BOH! Either we make a bold move or the soap opera in Pender gets better ratings than American Idol!
    J. David Williams
    Pender County Commissioner-District 1 Home 910-270-7757

  • Bonnie says:

    Chester Ward can give out speeding tickets but can’t take his buddy to AA? That says a lot about the law enforcement. You need to help your friend not sit there and act like everything is ok wit your nose in the air. I am watching you on Monday Ward to see if you will ask for Williams resignation. DOES PENDER COUNTY EVEN HAVE A CHAIRMAN ANYMORE? BROWN STEP UP AND BE A REAL MAN. STOP THE DRUNK DRIVING! If this was the health department Brown would be ready to fire the entire staff. Ward speak up or shut up!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  • Guest says:

    If you feel that the “good things” David Williams has accomplished while a commissioner in Pender County outweigh a long pattern of DUI vehicle operation, then perhaps you should identify some of those things. I can think of one or two my self: terminating physician programs for low-income folks at the health department; forcing 8 members of the board of health off the board; and repeating lies and misstatements without checking facts except from his buddy George. I don’t believe these actions qualify as “good things.” I’m sure that others Mr. Williams has interfaced with over the past several years also have some “good things” to report.

  • Will Johns says:

    Scott Pickey, as a public service to your viewers please perform a criminal background check on all of the Pender County Commissioners and publish it for us. This is a dangerous and upsetting acknowledgement to the public. These commissioners are in control of our county regulations and by virtue of tax dollars: our children’s education, our firefighters, our law enforcement, our public healthcare, our public services, etc. The list goes on and on.

    It is completely atrocious that a habitual offender such as Mr. Williams is in a position of control in this county. Word is also out on the possible abuse via the recent tax re-evaluations in this county by another of these commissioners. It seems to be only prudent to look into all of their pasts for our own protection.

  • Guest says:

    Yes there was no mudslinger going up against him in the last election. There was more mud than this, but it was all just rumor, so the opposer wouldn’t say a word, but maybe the voting public should do more follow up on who they want to vote on instead of waiting for the mud to fly!

  • Guest461 says:

    It is amazing that nobody dug this dirt up at election time and put it up on posters up and down the side of Hwy 17. The mudslingers failed to do their job, a true rarity!

    What’s even more amazing is that the commissioners themselves didn’t do any checking up on this man’s integrity prior to swearing him into office. Just another obviously fine example of just how inept the people are that we elect into local politics to “guide our counties and spend our money”. Sure, I really trust them now!

    “Personal life” my foot! Driving down the highway in a 5000 lb uncontrolled missile isn’t a “personal life”, that’s called “Reckless, public endangerment”! Geeeez, what a statement.
    When you know you’ve stepped in it, you’re not supposed to pick it up and eat it!

    3rd DUI among numerous other traffic violations? Looks like an old, fat guy out of control that needs a lesson taught he should’ve gotten when he was 17.

    But…”he is always very nice to me.” GAAAAAAHHCKKK!

  • Commonsensenotcommontoday says:

    Third DWI? THIRD??!!

    Send him to prison.

  • Brad Jones says:

    look rivernbark this is not williams personal life only, he was not home drinking in his private home, but he is acussed of being on the PUBLIC HIGHWAY putting other lives in danger. Many of us are involved in fighting to end drunk driving, how awful you defend this man who has been charged THREE times for the same crime! This proves politicans, or anyone in the inter circle is protected (I wonder who all knew about this in Pender County). Explain this comment to the many people who have lost someone to drunk driving. This is about what is right. Maybe it is time for all new commissioners in Pender County–to much drama from health department to now drunk driving protection, do you all ever focus on doing something progressive. Drunk driving is wrong even for Mr. Perfect David Williams who belittles others–we remember the way you talked to us williams, remember fire fighters are people too, afterall we have to respond to wrecks caused by drunk drivers! I imagine you or rivenbark by his comments never have had anyone injuryed or killed by a drunk driver. RIVENBARK why are you defending this man, he needs to step down and get help, maybe this new information explain his rude attitude! I just want to know when appearing before the commissioner board is williams sober or drunk? You talked to us like a drunk when we fire fighters went to the meeting.

  • concernmom says:

    He will be there first one to need First Responers that he is trying to cut funding to. At the fire Depts. I think you need to keep them around.. Oh yea that is right you have heart trouble as well.

  • Firefighters wife says:

    Could not have said this better myself. What a great example he is setting for our community.

  • Das Weibstück says:

    “His personal life is his personal life.”

    It’s NOT his personal life when he is DRIVING and putting others lives in danger is it ?????? Dang what a stupid thing to say.

    Three strikes you are out !

  • Guest2012 says:

    Rivenbark said, “His personal life is his personal life.”

    Commissioner, think before you speak!!! Pleeeze!!!

    This JERK-weed could have killed someone, an entire family, a veteran, a little child, a newborn baby, a pregnant woman, a law-abiding citizen.

    THANK God that the police were right there to observe a DRUNK and NAB him. Stick a fork in him, he’s done!!! Take his licence away and give him a scooter to ride in pouring rain for the rest of his life. Pray for rain!

    Another commissioner bites the dust, NO LOSS to society, humanity or womanhood.

    OMG,how can I keep up and watch what is happening to our ObamaNation when all the commissioners are going crazy and breaking the LAW! New hanover, brunswick,pender and kure…have I overlooked anyone? Jeeez!

  • Dorothy says:

    Good enough for the red neck!!! Sit your drunk tail down and take Chester Ward with you!!!

  • Dorothy says:

    I guess Brown has caused this man to drink his life away. What is Pender County coming to. Rivenbark defends a drunk but can’t help even vote to help the citizens of the county. Rivenbark your room is waiting at Day Springs Nursing Home.

  • Hilda Sidbury says:

    This is a horrible day for pender county. These clown county commissioners will never stop their foolishness from health department drama from now driving drunk. You talk to us county employees like a drunk. How do we the people of the county know when you are drunk or sober? Get some help, you are embarrassing this county. Brown, step up and leave the health department alone and help your pal get help. This county is going backwards. IT is sad to know RIVENBARK defended this man publicly– you should be ashamed when he put so many people lives at risk driving drunk. If you ever have anyone die from a drunk driver than maybe you will know our passion to end drunk driving. I wonder who all knew about this????? So sad three times and we thought he was Mr. Perfect by the way he talk down to us. Remember county workers are people too. Stop talking to people like a drunk. Will you be sober at the next meeting or need a driver?

  • Bubba says:

    This man is in the wrong job. He sjould be on the Alcohol Control Board.

  • Common Sense says:

    It’s been 17 years since he has gotten one. Give the man a break

  • Guester says:

    You made me smile with your comment. So for that I thank you.

    While no one is perfect, you do realize that most responsible people go their whole life without a DWI, right?

  • Guest zento says:

    It might have been 17 years since his last DWI conviction but you can bet it hasn’t been 17 years since the last time he has driven under the influence, he just hasn’t been caught!!!!

  • Commonsensenotcommontoday says:

    The seventeen years simply proves that he hasn’t matured one iota in seventeen years.

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