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JACKSONVILLE, NC (WWAY) — Former Alcoholic Beverage Control administrator Billy Williams’s trial started this morning.

He’s charged with making an illegal deal with a contractor who was building him a two-story garage for his home.

Prosecutors say Williams submitted a fake invoice of more than $43,000 to the ABC board, claiming the money was for paving work at one of the agency’s stores.

Before the attorneys started choosing the jury, the judge ruled that the prosecution can’t argue the theory of “willfull blindness” during open and closing statements. Williams defense attorney, Buddy Allard, said it’s inappropriate to argue that his client knew better since he was the ABC administrator.

The judge is also allowing TV cameras into the courtroom after the jury is selected.

Williams has pleaded not guilty to the charge of obtaining property by false pretense.

He had earlier come under scrutiny for earning $232,000 a year, making him the highest-paid ABC administrator in the state.

He retired in January 2010.

(PHOTOS COURTESY OF RAEFORD BROWN)

Comment on this Story

  • Guest3230

    is what he has. To even attempt to plead not guilty is “willfull” greed. You disgust and insult me and the rest of NHC taxpayers. Even though it will not be enough, I hope you get the full sentence and I hope the State take’s your pension away for being no more than a low life thief.

  • guesty

    Can they argue he was too stupid to lay low and get while the getting was good? $232k a year and he had to skip on paying $43k?

  • Guestchuck

    If authorities would do some checking on Williams back billing
    to the ABC board they would probably find he has charged other items to the ABC board that were for his personal use.

  • Guest333

    to see a low-down thief like this ‘Scumbag and A HALF’ look remorsefully into the camera and ADMIT to being as guilty as SIN, and beg for God and the public’s forgiveness and to promise to pay back every red cent?

    I think I’d fall off my chair.

    Well, one thing for sure… he will fit in BEAUTIFULLY in Prison as he decries, “I’m not guilty”
    LOL

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