WILSON’S LOCAL PRINT AND DIGITAL COMMUNITY INSTITUTION SINCE 1896

Mayor to be sworn in after court appearance

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SHARPSBURG — The mayor-elect will take office at the Sharpsburg Board of Commissioners’ next regular meeting June 5.

Earlier in the day, he is scheduled to appear in Nash County District Court to face six charges stemming from an arrest within an hour after the polls closed on Election Day.

Mayor-elect Robert L. Williams won in a special election held May 8, defeating incumbent Mayor Randy Weaver 169 votes to 162.

The election had been ordered after Williams had made a challenge to the Nov. 7 general election in which Weaver bested Williams 139 to 136. Voting irregularities had been found at the Elm City Elementary voting precinct.

Within an hour of the polls closing in the May 8 election, Sharpsburg police arrested Williams and charged with failure to maintain lane control; driving while impaired; two counts of resisting, delaying or obstructing an officer; possession of a concealed firearm; possession of a firearm after consuming alcohol and possession of a firearm on government property.

The mayor-elect’s Election Day drunken driving arrest drew international media attention.

Blake Proctor, town administrator in Sharpsburg, said he received calls from as far away as The Daily Mail in Great Britain inquiring about the incident.

“I have been a city manager or in the city management profession since 1978,” Proctor said. “This is the first time I have known anything like this to happen.”

Mayor Randy Williams has decided not to file any protest of the special election’s results, according to elections boards in Wilson, Nash and Edgecombe that certified the results during last Friday’s canvasses. Sharpsburg’s town limits are divided between the three adjacent counties.

Proctor said Williams will be sworn in shortly after 6 p.m. at Sharpsburg Town Hall.

According to Proctor, there is no provision in the town’s code of ordinances for the mayor to be removed from office.

Even if there was a removal process for official misconduct, Williams did not hold public office at the time of his arrest.

“That has nothing to do with the town,” Proctor said. “I will be more than happy to work with whomever is elected at any time.”

Williams did not return phone messages seeking comment in time for this story.

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