ABC administrator expected to retire in February

Reported by Max Winitz - bio|email
Posted by Debra Worley - email

NEW HANOVER COUNTY, NC (WECT) - The Interim Chairman of the ABC Board announced Tuesday, Billy Williams will retire from the ABC's administrator.

"I feel that it is time to move on and enjoy my family and many years of retirement," said Williams in a letter.

Williams said he would offer help, should the board need it in the future, and wished everyone well.

Click here to read his letter

According to New Hanover County Manager Bruce Shell, Williams' retirement will be effective February 26, 2010.

New Hanover County Attorney and interim ABC board member Wanda Copley said the announcement was no surprise.

"Certainly I'm sure that with the controversy that I would think that it would influence him to go ahead and make that decision," said Copely.  "He's been a long-term employee and probably decided that now was the time to go."

In December, Williams had mentioned he would look into the possibility of taking a pay cut or consider retiring if county commissioners asked him to do so.

Williams has worked with the ABC for 42 years, but has recently been scrutinized for his salary and bonus.

A published report showed Williams is paid more than $230,000 a year, while his son, Bradley, brings home $115,000 a year.

Additionally, a financial report indicates Billy Williams was awarded a $30,000 bonus in 2009 and his son was given $20,000.

Bonus history for Billy Williams and Bradley Williams

Earlier this month, three officials with ABC resigned from the board to remove themselves from the dispute, but ABC's attorney George Roundtree said the former board did nothing wrong when they voted for the Williams' salaries and bonuses.

An interim board of was immediately appointed including: County Manager Bruce Shell, Finance Director Avril Pender, and County Attorney Wanda Copley.

Shell met with Williams earlier this month and is compiling a report on the status of the ABC board.  They had planned to meet several times a month.

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