Republican state Sen. Phil Williams of Rainbow City responded today to what his office is calling “baseless attacks on his character and law practice” by the Alabama Political Reporter, a state political blog run by Bill Britt.
A Jan. 7 article by the Alabama Political Reporter contended that “high-ranking government officials” had confirmed that Williams was under investigation for “possible ethics violations and other related activities.”
A news release from Williams’ office noted that the senator had ignored previous defamatory blog posts, even a Dec. 22, 2015, piece in which Britt attacked his father, but took a stand this week when the blogger accused him of being under “criminal investigation.”
“Over the past few weeks, a blogger named Bill Britt has written a number of posts attacking not only my character, but also the name of my late father, a highly-decorated Army veteran and revered public servant,” Williams wrote in the news release. “Further, Britt has attacked my law firm and its clients and insinuated I have used my position as a senator for private gain.”
According to Williams’ news release, a full inquiry of government and law enforcement turned up no evidence of said investigation.
However, to quell such attacks, Williams took the unusual step of contacting the Alabama Ethics Commission on Friday and requested that the agency conduct a full review of his law practice.
“At my own insistence they have now received all five years of my client lists and will review them under seal,” Williams stated in the release.
Williams is confident that the commission’s review will prove that he has “zero clients with state interests and that his annual statements of economic interest to the Ethics Commission have fully complied with the law.”
“I am taking these actions not just for myself, but also for every member of the public domain who has been assaulted by bloggers and rumor-peddlers who believe they can hide behind the false pretense that they are ‘reporting the news,’” Williams added.
Britt had little to say on Williams’ decision to go on the offensive this week.
“The article(s) speak for themselves,” Britt responded in an email.
Here’s the audio statement from Williams: