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First African-American sheriff in St. Helena Parish history sworn-in

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WAFB Channel 9

Friday was a big day for the citizens of St. Helena Parish. They have a new sheriff in office and they are looking for positive changes in the way he will be doing business, unlike the previous three sheriffs who all went to jail.

Several hundred residents of St. Helena Parish gathered to hear the words spoken, “Nat Williams, the first African-American sheriff to lead us for the next four years.” There have been many sheriffs in St. Helena Parish, but none of them African-American. That changed when Nat Williams, backed by blacks and whites alike was overwhelmingly elected to the office last October. His secretary, Ann Huff, is proud. “I have been his secretary since he became sheriff. He will treat his fellow citizens fairly, impartially, and his door is always open to you,” she says.

Judge Ray Chultz challenged the new sheriff. “Sheriff-elect Nat Williams, your challenge will be to continue what the voters of your election cried out for, to unite and to raise St. Helena to the position that its citizens deserve.” And he was sworn: “Sheriff for the parish of St. Helena, according to the best of my ability and understanding, so help me God (applause).”

The last three sheriffs before Nat Williams served time in jail for criminal activity. We asked him if that is a legacy he hopes he hopes to end. “There will be justice and equal opportunity for everybody in the parish and I will not tolerate nothing like that in my office,” the new sheriff says. Sheriff Nat Williams joined the St. Helena Sheriff’s Office in 1992 and over the years, steadily rose through the ranks to reach the position he swore to Friday.


Written by Symphony

July 1, 2008 at 7:15 am

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