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Highway chief charged with menacing

January 12, 2018 11:30 pm

GREENVILLE — Greenville Highway Superintendent Terry Williams has been accused of threatening a male subordinate after an argument on the job, according to state police.

The alleged victim, who has not been identified, is a part-time Greenville Highway Department employee. Williams was charged with menacing in the third degree, state police Senior Investigator Pete Kusminsky said Friday. The incident occurred during working hours.

Williams was charged Wednesday at 2:12 p.m.

The alleged victim’s attorney, Monica Kenny-Keff, of Cairo, said the incident developed after her client asked Williams why another part-time worker was getting more than double the hours he was.

Williams allegedly got loud and told the man to get back to work, which he did, but Williams followed him out of his office, grabbed him by his shirt collar and threatened him, Kenny-Keff said Friday.

The man told Williams he “didn’t want to do this” and Williams then walked away, Kenny-Keff said.

The man reported the incident to state police during his lunch break, the attorney said.

Town Supervisor Paul Macko declined to say whether Williams would face internal disciplinary action.

“I can’t comment on that now,” Macko said. “It’s a pending investigation.”

Police investigation is closed, state police said.

Williams did not respond to calls for comment.

Williams, a Republican, was re-elected Greenville highway superintendent in 2017. He defeated Integrity Party challenger Eric Pickett 585-287, according to the Greene County Board of Elections.

Greenville Town Councilman Greg Davis said Williams should resign if he is found guilty. Davis said he hasn’t had a chance to speak to Williams or the alleged victim.

“That would have to be talked about with the town lawyer, because there are legalities,” Davis said Friday.

Williams was issued an appearance ticket and will be required to appear in court at a later date.

If Williams is convicted, he faces up to three months in county jail, one year probation and a possible $500 fine.

Kenny-Keff said the incident should be made public because Williams is an elected official paid with taxpayer dollars.

“From information that I’ve gathered from other sources, he’s had issues in the past with doing inappropriate things on work time or with work equipment and now it came to an actual physical altercation with a subordinate,” she said. “I think the people of Greenville should know that. I think they have a right to know that.”

Williams is scheduled to reappear in Greenville Town Court on Jan. 31 at 7 p.m., but Kenny-Keff expects Greenville town justices to recuse themselves because Williams is a town official.