Council candidate's past includes two felonies

Antonio Williams
Antonio Williams

Columbia City Council candidate Antonio Williams was convicted of grand larceny in 1990, a State newspaper background check of candidates found.

The felony conviction carried a 10-year sentence, suspended on his service of 166 days in jail.

At the same time, Williams was convicted of burglary in the third degree, also a felony. He served the two sentences at the same time.

The dual convictions are the most serious included on Williams' four-page rap sheet, extending over four decades and maintained by the State Law Enforcement Division.

Williams, 56, is running for a citywide council seat held by first-term incumbent Tameika Isaac Devine. Five Points businessman Grant Robertson also is running for the seat.

It is unclear what Williams does for a living. He characterized himself as a "construction entrepreneur" but would provide no details.

Williams lives in the Read Street community and has ran for office four times previously, including two bids for City Council, a race for U.S. Congress and another for the state Legislature.

Williams also has nine misdemeanor convictions. They are:

- In 2007, public drunkenness; failure to comply with direction of police/fireman;

- In 1999, receiving stolen goods, less than $1,000.

- In 1991, petit larceny.

- In 1987, public drunkenness; disorderly conduct; resisting arrest;

- In 1979 and 1978, disorderly conduct.

Williams said Wednesday he had no comment on his criminal record.

"If you really want to report that, that's on y'all," he said. "But I'd make a statement on that some other time."

A man's voice could be heard in the background, saying things that Williams then repeated word-for-word. When asked who was talking, Williams said it was his campaign manager, though he would not identify the person.

Earlier in the week, Irwin D. Wilson, a candidate for mayor, acknowledged a 1994 conviction for criminal sexual conduct in the third degree. Wilson's record also included 1990 convictions for simple assault and battery, trespassing and simple assault.