Assemblyman drove without license, faces another suspension

Assemblyman Wendell Williams, D-North Las Vegas, drove with a suspended license for nearly two years -- including through most of the 2003 Legislature when he was seen frequently behind the wheel of his new BMW sports car.

Williams, 54, had his license suspended Oct. 7, 2001 after he failed to appear in Reno Justice Court on a speeding ticket issued April 20 of that year. He was cited by a Nevada Highway Patrol trooper for driving in excess of 21 mph over the limit.

According to Department of Motor Vehicles records, his license wasn't reinstated until May 13, 2003.

But he is already in danger of losing it again.

Williams was cited by NHP for aggressive driving between Carson City and Reno on May 1 of this year -- 12 days before he got his driver's license back.

According to Reno Justice Court records, he didn't show up for court July 30 and never paid the ticket. An arrest warrant for failure to appear was issued and Williams' license is now listed as "pending suspension."

He will again lose legal driving privileges by the end of this month unless he appears in Reno Justice Court.

In addition, his DMV records show he was issued a citation in Southern Nevada in 2002 -- in the middle of the 19-month period when his license was suspended.

Williams said Thursday he was unaware of either the 19-month suspension or the new Reno Justice Court warrant.

"I'll call the court and pay the warrant," he said Thursday.

He said he wasn't stopped by the highway patrol, that the citation was issued after somebody filed a complaint against him. He said he didn't get notice of the hearing.

He also said he was unaware his license had been suspended from October 2001 until May 2003.

"My license is good now," he said.

Williams's conduct behind the wheel drew attention from a number of people during the 2003 Legislature. Two individuals sent letters to the Nevada Appeal complaining they saw his silver BMW Z4 sports car driving through the Dayton-Silver Springs area at speeds in excess of the limit. Letter writers complained the vehicle was weaving in and out of traffic, crossing the double-yellow line and ignoring stop signs. And there was the complaint to NHP which resulted in the aggressive driving citation.

Whether or not those citizens knew it was Williams, all mentioned the distinctive license plate identifying the vehicle as belonging to Assembly 5. That is the plate assigned to Williams.

An NHP spokesman said it's up to the trooper whether someone is arrested or allowed to go home if they are stopped while driving on a suspended license. But he said when there is an outstanding warrant, the driver will almost always be taken into custody.


Use the comment form below to begin a discussion about this content.

Sign in to comment