News from BSO

BSO GENERAL COUNSEL APPOINTED TO BENCH

Broward Sheriff Ken Jenne is pleased to congratulate Elijah Williams, general counsel for the Broward Sheriff's Office, on his appointment to the Broward Circuit Court bench. He succeeds Judge Melanie May who was elevated to the Fourth District Court of Appeals late last year.

Mr. Williams is the interim director of the agency’s Department of Legal Affairs and handles civil liability, contracts, labor and government law, criminal and detention law. He joined BSO in May 1998, but had advised the agency on its legal matters for the five previous years as partner and assistant general counsel for Whitelock and Williams, P.A. From August 1990 to December 1992, he prosecuted criminal defendants for the Broward State Attorney’s Office.

Mr. Williams was born 42 years ago in the Dixie Court Project, a government housing complex in Fort Lauderdale. He attended Walker Elementary School, Parkway Middle School, and South Plantation High School. At the insistence of then-guidance counselor Frances Haithcock (former deputy superintendent) he entered the University of Florida, where he graduated with a Bachelor of Arts degree in Political Science in 1980. A fellowship enabled him to jointly enter the university’s law and graduate schools, and in 1983, he was awarded both a Juris Doctorate and Master of Arts in Political Science.

Upon passing the Florida Bar in 1984, Mr. Williams was commissioned into the United States Air Force and held the rank of captain in the prestigious Judge Advocate General’s corps. His litigation skills so impressed military authorities that he was soon named the chief of military justice for the Air Force’s largest tactical fighter wing. He served honorably for five and a half years before returning to Fort Lauderdale in 1990.

Mr. Williams has always been deeply involved in community programs, especially those that mentor at-risk youth. He served as president of SAILS (Supporting Achievement and Interest in Learning for Students) from 1997-98. He is a member of the NAACP and the Leadership Broward Foundation.

Mr. Williams and his wife, Deborah, live in Plantation, as do his proud parents, Harry and Mattie Williams.

A date for his swearing-in has not yet been set.

This report by: Cheryl Stopnick / Media Relations

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