COURT DOCUMENTS: City manager arrested after fight with wife, to remain on the job

Posted at 3:05 PM, Feb 21, 2012
and last updated 2012-02-21 15:05:52-05

PETERSBURG, Va. (WTVR) – Police arrested Petersburg City Manager William Johnson III on charges of misdemeanor assault and battery stemming from a weekend fight with his wife, according to a criminal complaint filed in Petersburg Juvenile and Domestic Court.

In the complaint Gloria Wright Johnson said on Saturday, Feb. 18, she confronted her husband with suspicions he was having an affair. An allegation William Johnson denied.

The couple got into an argument that started in the morning and continued off and on through the afternoon with police being called more than once, the complaint said.

During the third fight, Gloria Wright Johnson said her husband punched her in the nose, punched her in the chest, slammed her head on the floor and shook her.

Police arrested William Johnson after they were again called to the couple’s home. He has since been released on a $5,000 bond. He is due back in court on Feb. 22.

Petersburg Commonwealth’s Attorney Cassandra Conover told CBS 6 Senior Reporter Wayne Covil [Follow on Twitter] that the situation is unfortunate and that she planned to appoint a special prosecutor to handle the case to avoid any appearance of conflict of interest.

As city manager, Johnson is currently leading budget hearings and Conover’s office receives money from the city.

An unsigned statement released Tuesday afternoon by City of Petersburg communication department read, “Petersburg City Council is aware of the situation facing City Manager William Johnson, but Council has not met to discuss the issue. Until such time as City Council does meet, Mr. Johnson will continue to work as City Manager of Petersburg. The matter has been referred to Petersburg’s Acting City Attorney, William Hefty.”

Johnson was appointed Petersburg‘s city manager in June 2011. [Read more]

Johnson had previously served as Deputy City Manager of Richmond and County Administrator, Deputy County Administrator, Louisa County Director of Finance, Prince George County Director of Finance and New Kent County Accounting and Budget Director.