Judge Byron C. Williams was elected in November 2014 to a six-year term presiding over Section G of Orleans Parish’s Criminal District Court. (NOLA.com | The Times-Picayune file)
NEW ORLEANS, LA (WVUE) –
Criminal District Judge Byron C. Williams has voluntarily stepped down from the bench for a leave of absence amid an investigation into allegations he inappropriately touched a courthouse employee and made inappropriate comments from the bench, according to his attorney Ernest Jones
Williams’ attorney said his client’s leave of absence started Monday.
"We deny all the allegations that were printed back in the press. Those complaints were supposed to be confidential but they weren’t . We publicly denied them and continue to publicly deny them. We will rely on the judicial process to clear his name," Jones said. "Someone leaked all of the allegations and left us at a disadvantage because we have to follow the rules."
According to the report, Jones attributed the judge’s decision to step aside to the "highly publicized" allegations, noting that Williams denies the allegations.
Sources told NOLA.com | The Times-Picayune last year the Judiciary Commission of Louisiana launched an investigation into Williams in August, after a female courthouse employee complained he inappropriately touched her. That woman did not work on Williams’ staff.
Another woman complained Williams made inappropriate comments from the bench during one of his drug court sessions.