Assistant State Attorney Ryan Williams of the Ninth Judicial Circuit has resigned, according to reports. Williams has had an interesting path while serving Orange and Osceola County, but it appears his differences with State Attorney Aramis Ayala have ultimately led him to accept a new offer elsewhere.
State Attorney Ayala, Florida’s first African-American elected state attorney, has been under pressure from Governor Rick Scott and others, even within her own office, after she decided not to seek the death penalty against accused cop-killer Markeith Loyd. ASA Williams was already on the team prosecuting Loyd. Gov. Scott has removed State Attorney Ayala from all death penalty cases and re-assigned them to State Attorney Brad King of Florida’s Fifth Judicial Circuit. Williams remained on the prosecuting team, King announced after taking over the case.
It now appears Ryan Williams will be accepting a full-time position in King’s office moving forward.
Williams has crossed some of his political allies in recent years, but he is a fine prosecutor. He left Lawson Lamar’s office, ran for State Attorney himself and then ultimately made nice with Jeff Ashton, securing his future in the Orange-Osceola office. But he was always in the outer circle of Ayala’s administration as a leftover from the previous administration in strained times. For now it seems Williams will serve Marion, Lake, Citrus, Sumter and Hernando Counties, as well as likely remaining active in his current Orange-Osceola death penalty cases.
I would not be surprised if Williams is not thinking of his own political future with the departure. Ryan Williams may very well run for State Attorney again in the coming years.