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Petersburg city manager makes court appearance in domestic violence case

PETERSBURG, Va (WTVR) – A Petersburg judge continued the domestic violence case against the city manager Monday morning, telling both William Johnson and his wife to return to court in three months.

Johnson is facing charges of misdemeanor assault and battery stemming from a fight with his wife in February. A trial was scheduled to take place today, but both the prosecution and defense asked for a joint continuance. Both Williams and his wife have entered marriage and personal counseling, and the special prosecutor said he wanted to see what comes out of the therapy sessions.

After the situation came to light in February, the Petersburg City Council voted to allow Johnson to stay on the job, pending the outcome of the case. As city manager, Johnson is currently leading budget hearings. He has served as Petersburg’s city manager since June of 2011.

The incident stirred up further controversy when Petersburg Mayor Brian Moore was quotes as saying, “We understand that they [some citizens] are upset but we also need to realize that things happen in a domestic relationship,” in reference to the situation.

The comments sparked protests outside of a Petersburg City Council meeting.

Williams and his wife are due back in court on July 23rd, when a trial is expected to take place. If convicted, Williams is facing 12 months in prison and a $2,500 dollar fine.