Burke County sheriff announces he’ll seek re-election

Published: Aug. 8, 2023 at 1:34 PM EDT
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WAYNESBORO, Ga. (WRDW/WAGT) - Burke County Sheriff Alfonzo Williams, embroiled in a budget battle with county commissioners and under GBI investigation, announced Tuesday he’s running for re-election.

“It is with great enthusiasm and energy that I ask for your support for my candidacy for re-election to the Office of Sheriff in Burke County,” he wrote in a letter Tuesday. “Since January 2017, I have had the distinct honor of serving a grateful and supportive citizenry with an amazing team of men and women who are dedicated to servanthood, safety, and solutions. It is quite an honor and privilege and I desire to continue serving. These are the reasons I announce my candidacy for re-election in the upcoming 2024 election.”

He goes on to list accomplishments, saying:

“Namely, fear of crime and crime itself is down well below the state and national averages. We strengthened our community engagement through high-quality crime prevention and community-policing efforts. We leveraged our partnerships and relationships with community stakeholders to create greater public trust and citizen satisfaction with local law enforcement.”


The letter was sent to the media a few hours before county commissioners decide whether to accept money donated by private citizens to cover pay raises for employees he promoted in recent weeks. He developed a restructuring plan that includes the retirement of some employees and consolidation of positions, while promoting other employees who gained responsibilities.

That happened around the same time commissioners told him his agency was running out of money.

Williams then secured tens of thousands in private donations to cover the pay raises and announced his agency would be receiving several federal grants.

Williams is also facing scrutiny by the Georgia Bureau of Investigation. In April, News 12 asked the GBI about the nature of its investigation, and the agency replied: “The GBI handles criminal investigations which is consistent with this preliminary inquiry.”

Meanwhile, there are new details on the Georgia Bureau of Investigation case involving training records with the Waynesboro Police Department and Williams. The GBI has given the case to district attorney Jared Williams.

The re-election letter was sent via email by the Burke County Sheriff’s Office public information officer from the same email domain used in official correspondence. It’s unclear where Georgia law stands on that matter.