State Representative Alfred Williams died Tuesday night
BATON ROUGE - State Representative Alfred Williams died late Tuesday night, WBRZ confirmed.
Williams, who represents the 61st district, had been recovering from surgery. People who knew him and confirmed his death said he died from complications related to the surgery.
Sources tell us Williams suffered complications following knee surgery and was undergoing surgery tonight to remove the infection. @WBRZ— Brett Buffington (@BrettBuffington) August 5, 2015
"It is with regret that we announce the passing of State Representative Alfred C. Williams," his office said in a statement shortly before midnight. "As an attorney, Alfred was a fearless and tireless advocate for his clients, and as an elected official, he possessed the heart of a servant leader. "
His wife, Brandi, said, "While our hearts are broken, our faith is strong. We earnestly solicit your thoughtful prayers."
Williams last appeared in public in July, in a public spat with the Department of Children and Family Services. He was upset over a malnourished child who was found in squalor. In colorful interviews dealing with the situation, Williams expressed his frustration with the department. He sent letters to the governor, his colleagues at the State Capitol and the head of the DCFS over the situation.
"No child should ever be faced with that situation," he said in an interview with WBRZ's Brett Buffington.
DCFS has made changes to its policies and said it was working with Williams on his concerns.
“He's a guy who didn't come from wealth or anything of that nature. He worked hard to make sure young people succeeded. He supported God and his church and always lifted up his community,” Mayor Kip Holden said in a late-night phone conversation with WBRZ.
Holden said he had been at the hospital all evening.
“He was an effective legislator, a servant-leader. My prayers are with his wife, Brandy, and his family. It's a sad day for our delegation. He will be missed,” State Senator Sharon Weston Broome said overnight Tuesday.
"I'm heartbroken. My thoughts go to his family," Representative Ted James said. "He was committed to his family and his community. We have lost one of our most dedicated public servants. For me, it's been an honor to serve with him. I looked up to him for so many years, and to have him as a colleague, I felt extremely blessed. He was one of the best," James added.
Williams, a Democrat, was an attorney and attended Capitol High, Southern and Southern Law. He graduated from law school in 1977.
He was elected to the State House of Representatives in 2011.
Funeral arrangements are pending but will be made public as soon as they are finalized, his office said. On Wednesday, Gov. Bobby Jindal ordered flags to be at half-staff to honor the deceased state representative. The executive order is set to expire at sunset.
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