A former Warner Robins city councilman who spent time in federal prison made an appearance in council chambers Monday.
John Williams served a turbulent four years on council in which he had a series of bizarre run ins with the law, though he maintained his innocence in each of the cases. He was soundly defeated in his re-election attempt in 2011 by Mike Davis as he faced federal indictment on charges of extortion related to the attempted purchase of a used vehicle for the police department. He was later convicted and served time in prison.
He showed up at the council meeting Monday and chatted with Davis, Councilman Clifford Holmes and others before the meeting started. It was his first time in chambers since he was a councilman.
Williams, 78, told The Telegraph he served 11 months of his 15-month sentence, with three months in the county jail and eight in federal prison.
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“It was a real interesting experience,” he said.
When it came time for citizen comments at the end of the meeting, Williams got up and went to the podium. He said he had been cited for leaving his dog tied up in his back yard. Williams said he was the one who proposed the ordinance in 2010, but he said it simply states that a dog should not be tied up and does not allow for special circumstances.
“It’s vague and restrictive,” Williams said.
He asked the council to consider a change in which dogs could be tied up temporarily. He said he had been doing renovations on his house, was injured and had to go to the doctor. He tied his dog up in the back yard because of all the tools he had out. When he returned, he said his dog had been taken by animal control and he was left with a citation that cost $200.
Williams said more than 100 citations for tying up dogs have been issued since the ordinance was approved, and most of those are in poor neighborhoods.
None of the council members commented on Williams’ suggestion.
Williams said after the meeting he is doing well these days. He said he has a guard dog because his conviction does not allow him to have a gun. He said he ordinarily does not tie the dog up.