Todd Williams announces candidacy for re-election to the office of Buncombe County district attorney

Press release from Todd Williams:

ASHEVILLE, N.C. – District Attorney Todd M. Williams of Asheville announced on November 18, 2021 that he will file for re-election to the Office of District Attorney for the 40th Prosecutorial District.

“Through my leadership we have undertaken groundbreaking reforms to better serve victims, and our community. I seek your support to continue creating new pathways to well-being and justice in Buncombe County, and to continue enforcing the law and seeking just accountability for criminal acts,” Williams said.

Prior to serving as District Attorney, Todd Williams accrued nearly 15 years of experience as a public defender; Williams often represented children and adults who were denied dignity, fairness, and justice by our criminal court system. Those experiences compelled Williams to work to change the system as D.A. Williams won a competitive primary and general election; he was sworn in January 1, 2015 as Buncombe County D.A.

D.A. Williams assisted in founding the Family Justice Center, the Child Advocacy Center, the Justice Resource Center, Veterans’ Treatment Court, and new diversion programs. In addition, D.A. Williams has launched innovative, effective programs to address systemic inequities that penalize defendants for poverty. These programs include free services to remove eligible nonviolent offenses from records, forgiveness of minor traffic violations that unjustly deny people the ability to work and care for themselves and their families, and amnesty days when defendants can address outstanding nonviolent matters without fear of being detained.

“I’m running to ensure the gains we have made in the past seven years are preserved, sustained, and expanded. The D.A.’s job is to seek justice and I believe that means to do justice for everyone in Buncombe County,” D.A. Williams said.

D.A. Williams has righted past wrongs by consenting to remove men from death row whose convictions were tainted by procedural errors, permitted relief for those serving disproportionate sentences, and currently serves on the N.C. Innocence Inquiry Commission. The Commission takes a second look at felony criminal convictions from around the state. Williams initiated a first-in-the-nation restorative justice response to a police brutality case, as requested by the victim. Williams’s Office has prosecuted numerous police brutality cases since 2015.

D.A. Williams is a member of national networks of prosecutors such as the Association of Prosecuting Attorneys, Fair and Just Prosecution, and the Institute for Innovation in Prosecution (IIP). Through D.A. Williams’s leadership, Buncombe County participates in the IIP’s Beyond Big Cities project to ensure that cutting edge reforms designed to deliver justice and equity are enacted in mid-size and smaller communities.

“I am committed to making our community a safer place to live, work, and raise a family. I pledge to continue to assist victims through trauma informed policies and best practices and to ensure just prosecutions,” Williams said.

Since taking office, D.A. Williams’s team has achieved justice in heartbreaking crimes, including homicides involving multiple victims and children. Williams has led the office throughout the pandemic, as he and his team worked to continue safe operations without a shutdown of the courthouse since March 2020.

D.A. Williams has increased accountability and transparency throughout Buncombe County. Williams referred former County Manager Wanda Greene for prosecution; Greene was convicted on several federal fraud and conspiracy charges. D.A. Williams also initiated and collaborated with law enforcement leaders in 2020 to draft and implement Buncombe County’s first Uniform Policy and Procedure for reporting and disclosing police misconduct.

Williams, 52, is a North Carolina native and long-time Buncombe County resident. He lives in Asheville with his wife and family. Williams is a N.C. State Bar Board Certified Specialist in State Criminal Law.

Williams earned his undergraduate degree at UNC-Chapel Hill and taught English as a second language to textile workers before pursuing his J.D. from Northeastern Law School. D.A. Williams has been practicing law in North Carolina since 2000.

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