Last week The Star News Online reported Billy Williams, former chief of the New Hanover County Alcohol Beverage Control (ABC) Board, was convicted of felony charges for submitting a false invoice for more than $43,000 to the ABC board. Williams claimed the money was for paving one of the agency’s stores. He was ordered to pay a fine of $22,000 and will serve a year probation.
In December 2009, Williams was at the center of a Star News Online story on salaries for ABC employees. It found Williams earned $232,000 as the director of the New Hanover County ABC stores and that he was also the highest-paid ABC administrator in the state.
The story led to a state review of how ABC stores operated as well as call for greater oversight.
Williams retired in January 2010. According to state law, Williams is still eligible to collect his annual pension, $190,000.
It makes you wonder if we prosecuted the right crime.