Alameda school board member arrested

Alameda school boardmember Jennifer Williams was arrested last week on suspicion of driving under the influence of alcohol.

Alameda beatWilliams was pulled over by Alameda Police on Feb. 12 just before 10:30 p.m. on the 900 block of High Street, near Otis Drive, according the department’s activity log.

“Suspect displayed the objective symptoms of alcohol intoxication and was taken into custody,” according to the police log.

Williams did not immediately respond to an email asking for comment.

The arrest comes at a time when Alameda residents are coping with a number of accidents since last fall involving vehicles striking pedestrians, including school children.

A day before Williams’ arrest, an elderly woman was killed by a motorist at an intersection near Alameda High School. Last month, a 34-year-old woman was killed on Ralph Appezzato Parkway by a suspect alleged to be under the influence of a controlled substance.

Williams Jenn
Alameda school boardmember Jennifer Williams.

Williams notified her colleagues on the school board of the arrest about two days later in an email on Feb. 14.

“I am prepared to take full responsibility for any mistakes I may have made. As no charges have been filed. I cannot comment further at this time. Will fully participate in any consequent legal proceedings as appropriate,” Williams wrote to the board.

Williams, who is an administrative law judge, prefaced the email by declaring it to be a “privileged communication” between her and the board. But the email was later determined to be a public record by the school district’s legal counsel because school boardmembers are not considered employees of the school district.

Williams was elected to the Alameda Board of Education in 2016, and is up for re-election this November. Four years ago, she was the top vote-getter in a field of six candidates vying for three at-large seats on the school board. Williams was also rumored to be a potential candidate for the City Council this fall.