I-TEAM: Head of Baton Rouge Civil Service Board arrested

The head of the Baton Rouge Civil Service Board now faces charges related to contractor fraud.
Published: Sep. 19, 2023 at 1:05 PM CDT
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BATON ROUGE, La. (WAFB) - The head of the Baton Rouge Municipal Fire and Police Civil Service Board now faces charges related to contractor fraud.

Officials confirm Brandon Owen Williams turned himself in for counts of residential contractor fraud, and a misapplication of payment charge.

According to the warrant, the victim and Williams began working together in January of 2022, when Williams was contracted to help the victim build a new home. The victim told investigators that the estimated cost of the work was around $722,900.

The warrant states that the victim was eventually forced to hire additional contractors to redo, or finish work that Williams was responsible for because Williams selected unlicensed subcontractors to perform work. According to the warrant, the victim was also forced to pay additional money to settle debts that Williams had been given money to handle.

The warrant states that Williams was paid close to $600,000 of the $722,900 estimated cost. The victim reported a loss of $46,086 because of Williams’ actions, according to the warrant.

The arrest warrant states that the victim was also threatened with a property lien by a subcontractor who Williams was supposed to pay.

“Even after being notified that additional fees would be incurred for late payments, [Williams] told the subcontractor to do what he needed to do,” the warrant states.

Further investigation revealed that Williams’ business used legitimate contractor numbers to register for work and obtain permits, but actually brought in unlicensed contractors who were not linked to those numbers to perform the work, the warrant states.

Williams previously pled no contest before the Louisiana Board of Contractors to allegations of working as an unlicensed contractor in November of 2019. He was also found guilty by the board in November of 2022 to working as an unlicensed contractor, for which he was issued a cease and desist.

Williams faced a previous effort to force his resignation in 2022.

In a scathing letter, the president of the Baton Rouge Police Union demanded Williams’ resignation. The letter cited felony warrants that were issued for Williams back in 2020, including for theft of property more than $25,000 and burglary of an inhabited dwelling. However, Williams has not been found guilty of any crimes.

Without a felony conviction, Williams cannot be removed from the board. He would have to resign.

In his current role, Williams hears appeals for officers who face disciplinary action, then decides whether to uphold that decision.

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