A state government official who oversees a local economic development authority tasked with providing recommendations to revitalize part of West Baltimore remains in his position after being charged in his home state of Nevada with domestic battery earlier this month.
Las Vegas authorities also charged Chad Williams, the executive director of the West North Avenue Development Authority, with coercion with physical force or immediate threat of physical force on New Year’s Day, online court records show. A preliminary court hearing is set for March.
The authority, created by a Maryland General Assembly bill in 2021, manages appropriated funds from Baltimore City and the state, according to a nonpartisan outline of the legislation. Maryland state Sen. Antonio Hayes and Del. Marlon Amprey, both of Baltimore, co-sponsored the bill and serve as authority members, according to a state webpage.
Per the bill, the president of Coppin State University or a designee serves as the chair of the authority and has hiring discretion. Robyne McCullough, a spokeswoman for the university, said late Monday that Williams, 50, remains employed by the development authority.
She said the authority is a separate entity from Coppin State. “Beyond that, we are not at liberty to discuss personnel matters,” she said in an email.
Coppin president Anthony L. Jenkins announced Williams’ appointment in March 2022. “Our goal is to create a better quality of life for residents in Baltimore right now, and to strongly position our community for a prosperous future,” Jenkins said in a news release at the time.
Reached for comment late Monday, Amprey, the bill’s house sponsor, had no comment. Hayes, the senate sponsor, did not respond to a request for comment.
Williams, in an email, declined to comment.
According to Coppin, Williams is a military veteran who graduated with a political science degree from the University of the District of Columbia with concentrations in urban policy and community planning.
The Las Vegas Review-Journal reported last week that Williams, also the ex-director of Southern Nevada’s housing authority, pleaded not guilty to felony and misdemeanor domestic battery charges. While serving with the regional housing authority, he faced misconduct allegations and spent the final months of his contract on administrative leave, according to media reports.
The Review-Journal also reported that Williams is facing allegations that he punched a sleeping woman, threw her to the ground and kicked her in the ribs and face. The woman told police she and Williams had been in a relationship for three years and that he had searched her phone while she slept, finding videos of her with another man. According to police records, he stopped the woman from calling 911 but told officers to take him to jail once they arrived.
While in court last week, Williams said he still lives in Las Vegas Valley but works remotely “running economic development for the state of Maryland,” according to the Review-Journal. His state salary was not immediately known.