DeKalb Co. DA To Give Investigator Second Chance After DUI Arrest

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Gary Williams' arrest mugshot

FORT PAYNE, Ala. (WHNT) – Mike O’Dell, District Attorney for DeKalb and Cherokee counties, said investigator Gary Williams will stay on with his office despite a recent DUI charge.

O’Dell said Williams will be demoted after he gets help for his alcohol addiction.

“No one is beyond redemption.  Gary Williams has acknowledged to me that he committed a very serious offense — one that put himself and others at risk of serious, physical injury or even death,” O’Dell said in a statement.  “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.”

Williams was arrested May 11.  He hit a guardrail at Interstate 59 and Glenn Boulevard and continued to drive.  A witness followed him onto Highway 35 toward Rainsville, where Williams was arrested.

O’Dell said Williams will face the DUI charge in court and abide by whatever punishment the court levies against him.

“Williams is a good man who has, heretofore, conducted himself with dignity and a strong worth ethic,” O’Dell said.  “I will not allow his distinguished career to be defined by this one act.”

O’Dell said Williams will undergo treatment for alcoholism.  Williams has forfeited his badge and gun and his credentials are currently suspended.  He will be reassigned to administrative responsibilities after he is released from in-house treatment, which he entered Tuesday.

“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.”