Albanians lash out regarding Weaver’s reinstatement
Written by Tom Knighton
Willie Weaver is headed back to his bench in municipal court, but the controversy surrounding him is far from over. Despite a 5-2 vote by the city commission to return Weaver to duty, many in the community are less than pleased by the outcome.
Weaver was serving a suspension after allegations surfaced that he had hit his wife at a party. His wife initially made the allegations, then later recanted. Some citizens aren’t satisfied with the official version of things, much less the commission’s decision.
Albany resident Ross Evans is one such person. “I’ve been unfortunate enough to have to appear in front of Weaver for minor traffic offenses and I will say he’s a fair judge,” Evans said, though he does feel Weaver shows some bias against younger drivers.” I’m unhappy with the commission’s decision because I feel a judge should be held to high standards as far as the behavior in and out of the workplace. Although I understand the charges will be dropped against him once he completes anger management classes, that’s not to say the incident did not occur,” Evans said. He went on to say, “Judges, politicians, and law enforcement should set the example for the rest of society. It seems that many of these same people that create, enforce, and interpret the laws are increasingly becoming poor examples of how to conduct oneself properly.”
Evans is also not convinced that Weaver is innocent of the charges, despite Mrs. Weaver now saying nothing happened. “I don’t buy for a second that Weaver did not commit some type of violence towards his wife. Like many domestic cases, the accuser will often retract their claim. My question is why would a judge’s wife make the claim in the first place had the incident not occurred? I doubt it’s a fun experience to have your spouse have criminal charges placed against them.”
Evans’ opinion isn’t without basis either. According to the Liberty House’s website, women often still feel love for abusive spouses, “Promising that he will change, he may actually show remorse for his violence. Their relationship probably involves a cycle of good times, bad times, and in-between times. However, the longer the violent relationship continues, the less likely there will be any good times at all.” Often times, this leads to women recanting earlier statements to protect their abusive partner.
None of this is to say that Weaver indeed hit his wife. What it does mean is that it will be difficult for many in the community, like Evans, to accept Weaver’s word that he never hit his wife. For better or worse, these allegations are now tied to Weaver for the rest of his career.
To make matters worse, some feel that Weaver was given a pass due to his connections, versus any real innocence. “Albany’s commission has demonstrated once again that if you have money or power in Albany, you can do as you please. It sickens and disheartens me that very little is done to rid our city of corruption. There are a lot of things I love about Albany, but those we have elected to make decisions for us continue to fail us in many aspects and is making it increasingly difficult to convince myself to continue living here,” said Evans.
Several other local citizens agreed with Evans comments, but refused to go on the record for fear of it impacting them should they appear in municipal court.