President Donald Trump nominated Interim U.S. Attorney Billy Williams on Friday to be Oregon’s top federal law enforcement official in the state.
In announcing Williams’ nomination, along with other U.S. attorneys, the White House said: “These candidates share the president’s vision for ‘Making America Safe Again.’”
Williams is required to be confirmed by the U.S. Senate.
“I am deeply honored by the nomination and if confirmed, look forward to continuing to serve the United States as the United States Attorney for the District of Oregon,” Williams said in a statement Friday.
Following the White House’s announcement, Oregon’s Sen. Ron Wyden said he was pleased with the Trump administration’s choice to name Williams.
“Billy Williams has earned well-deserved renown for his honesty, integrity and effectiveness as U.S. Attorney for the District of Oregon,” Wyden said.
In August, Wyden and fellow Democratic Oregon Sen. Jeff Merkley sent a letter to the White House expressing support for Williams, citing his integrity and “bipartisan support in Oregon.”
Williams has been doing the job since April 2015, when Amanda Marshall resigned following allegations she had an inappropriate relations with a subordinate. In December 2015, then U.S. Attorney General Loretta Lynch appointed Williams to the post in an interim capacity. Williams fully took over the job in 2016 after he was judicially appointed.
Until Friday, it hasn’t been clear whether the Trump administration would ask him to stay or step aside for a new appointment.
Williams has worked as a federal prosecutor in Oregon since 2000. He is a Northwest native and is well known by law enforcement, lawyers and judges around the state.
In February, the Oregon Sheriff’s Association sent a letter to Oregon’s lone Republican Congressman, Greg Walden, supporting Williams as the permanent U.S. Attorney for the District of Oregon.
“Mr. Williams has a deep understanding of the issue facing Oregon law enforcement officers, and he has been a strong partner to Oregon Sheriffs throughout his tenure at the U.S. Attorney’s Office,” the sheriff’s wrote.
Prior to the working in the U.S. Attorney’s Office, Williams worked in the Multnomah County District Attorney’s Office. He earned his law degree at the Willamette University College of Law in 1989.
This story will be updated.