PORTLAND, OREGON — U.S. Attorney Billy J. Williams announced today that, effective February 28, 2021, he will step down as U.S. Attorney for the District of Oregon.
Today’s announcement marks the end of Williams’ 20-year career in the Department of Justice, which began in October 2000. During his tenure with the U.S. Attorney’s Office, Williams has held multiple leadership positions, including First Assistant U.S. Attorney, Criminal Division Chief, Violent Crimes Unit Chief, and Indian Country Assistant U.S. Attorney and Tribal Liaison.
“It has been an incredible honor to serve the people of Oregon as U.S. Attorney. In more than 20 years with this office, I have had the distinct privilege to engage with countless colleagues, friends, community members, law enforcement partners, litigants, and others committed to making our communities better, safer places to live and thrive. There is still much work to do in our collective pursuit of justice and equity for all, but I am proud of what we’ve accomplished together,” said U.S. Attorney Williams. “Most of all, I am grateful to have worked with so many federal, state, local, and tribal law enforcement officers who daily put themselves at risk to protect Oregonians. You have and always will be a great inspiration to me.”
Williams has served as the chief federal law enforcement officer in Oregon since May 2015. With the support of Senators Ron Wyden and Jeff Merkley, Williams was nominated by former President Donald J. Trump on November 17, 2017 to serve a four-year term and was confirmed by the U.S. Senate on March 7, 2018.
As U.S. Attorney, Williams has served on several Attorney General Advisory Subcommittees. In November 2018, he was appointed chair of the Attorney General’s Marijuana Working Group, part of the Controlled Substances Subcommittee. He also served on the Native American Issues Subcommittee, Civil Rights Subcommittee, Border & Immigration Subcommittee, and Domestic Terrorism Executive Committee.
Prior to his federal service, Williams served as a Senior Deputy District Attorney in Multnomah County where he supervised the Career Criminal Unit. As a state prosecutor, Williams handled major crimes of violence, including aggravated murder, adult and child sex offenses, domestic violence, narcotics trafficking, vehicular homicide, and officer-involved shootings.
Williams, a native of Goldendale, Washington, received his bachelor’s degree in criminal justice from Washington State University in 1981 and his law degree from the Willamette University College of Law in 1989.
Following Williams’ departure, First Assistant U.S. Attorney Scott Erik Asphaug will become Acting U.S. Attorney pending the senate confirmation of a presidential nominee.