Despite killing a pregnant woman with her car, and injuring several passengers including two children in her own vehicle who were not wearing seat belts, State Senator Suzanne Williams will not face criminal charges for the December 2010 car crash that she caused in Hartley County Texas. The Family of the woman who was killed may still seek civil damages, however.
Eric Gomez, husband of Brianna, said the grand jury’s decision was “unfortunate.”
“No matter what I do, no matter how long I stomp my foot it’s not going to change the call on the field,” said the coach and teacher at Amarillo High School. “And on a larger scale there’s nothing I can do to change what the grand jury decided.”
According to the AP, he said the family is regrouping and will “see where that leads us.”
Williams told The Associated Press that she was relieved by the announcement that she was not facing charges.
Some posturing in the weeks leading up to this decision, however, led some to speculate that she was worried about the decision. Details on that after the jump.
At a local meeting in April. Senator Williams (SD28) told democrats in her disrict that State Representative Nancy Todd (HD41) would be seeking her Senate seat in the 2012 election and that Rep. Todd’s husband, Terry, would be running for his wife’s seat. (Terry Todd has filed the appropriate paperwork with the SOS, Rep. Nancy Todd has not. So for the time being, Nancy Todd’s candidacy is not official)
Some questioned the timing of the announcement, over 18 months before the election, and it seems that the move was designed to set up for potential vacancy committees that may have had to be convened if Sen. Williams was summoned to Texas for a criminal trial, or worse yet, found guilty and sentenced to jail time. The idea being that announced candidates would have an advantage in a vacancy process.
But the move brought other questions forward as well. For one, how appropriate is it for our representatives to be naming their successors and overtly working to prevent challenges?
In this case, Sen. Williams’ husband will be the campaign manager for Rep. Nancy Todd’s husband. Sen. Williams previously held the seat currently occupied by Rep. Todd.
And at a different meeting, when another Democrat (Andrew Bateman) announced that he would be running against Terry Todd for the open HD41 seat, Senator Williams jumped in on Terry Todd’s behalf citing the fact that there hadn’t been a Democratic primary in Aurora in years and criticizing his choice to run when there was already someone else. She even went so far as to suggest that he should move to another district and run there.
According to the Secretary of State’s office, for what it’s worth, Bateman filed his candidacy paperwork before Todd.
So what do you think polsters? Do primaries have a value to the parties? Or should the establishment and incumbents choose the candidates with everyone else clearing the path for the entitled husbands, wives, and children of other electeds?
Full disclosure: I won’t be casting a vote in this race, first because I don’t live in the district and second because I’m not a Democrat. But the dynasties annoy me nonetheless, hence the tone of bias. But, if I hadn’t been following the Sen. Williams car crash story so close, I probably wouldn’t have even known about this whole mess. Which is why I wanted to bring it up to the rest of you, who also may not be aware of it.