ROCKLIN, Calif. (KTXL) — On Friday, Placer County CEO Todd Leopold released a statement, saying he could “now publicly acknowledge” he was the driver in a March crash that killed a Rocklin teenager.
“Many individuals have questioned why I didn’t provide an official response to media requests for identification of the driver. Unfortunately, I could not comment on the pending investigation and certainly did not want to be perceived, in any way, as attempting to influence the outcome of the Rocklin Police Department’s investigation,” Leopold said in the statement.
Leopold also apologized for the loss of 18-year-old Anthony Williams, an Inderkum High School Basketball standout student-athlete, offering his condolences to his friends and family.
“Too little too late. You know, that’s the first thing that comes to mind because if there was any true guilt and sincerity it should have came from his mouth. He has enough access to media. He’s a CEO,” said family friend Andrea Angulo.
One local defense attorney believes this could put Leopold in hot water with the community.
“There’s going to be a lawsuit. Acknowledging that he was the driver makes us wonder how would that have changed anything if we knew about that at the beginning. Especially coming from someone in that position. I think the time is going to come where they may start asking for this person to resign,” said Mark Reichel.
In response to a request to interview Leopold, Placer County Board of Supervisors Chair Cindy Gustafson released a statement.
“As Chair of the Board of Supervisors, I was stunned and heartbroken to receive the March 20th call from Placer County CEO Todd Leopold that he was involved in the terrible accident on the night of March 19th in the City of Rocklin. We are all deeply saddened by this tragic loss and the Board of Supervisors continues to offer our sincere condolences to Mr. Williams’ family, friends and all those impacted. Out of respect for due process and the integrity of an ongoing law enforcement investigation, the County did not comment, but with its conclusion, we are gratified our CEO has stepped forward to acknowledge his part in this tragic personal accident.”Cindy Gustafson, Placer County Board of Supervisors
The family of Williams says they still have unanswered questions, especially about obtaining the full police report.
Rocklin police said earlier this week that it was not going to pursue charges against the driver that killed Williams on Lonetree Boulevard on March 19.
“The Rocklin Police Department completed the investigation after receiving the final report from the Placer County Sheriff/Coroner’s Office. After a thorough review of all of the evidence, and witness accounts in this case, it has been determined that the driver is not at fault and no criminal charges will be requested,” police said.
In its release, police did not identify the driver or release details of the crash. Rocklin police said the report would only be given to “to any person who may have a proper interest” because it was determined the driver was not at fault and no charges would be requested.
Williams’ brother, Isaac Tidwell, said he has yet to see the full police report and wants answers.
“You feel like he wasn’t speeding or you feel like he wasn’t under the influence? I don’t — I just don’t understand why wouldn’t you guarantee get some facts,” Tidwell said. “Why wouldn’t you just drug test, blood test him to make sure. Now, we got all these questions and wondering why now? Like why hasn’t anything been done? It’s been two months.”
Despite the new information coming forward, those close to Williams are not giving up until they find out what happened.
The attorney representing Tidwell has confirmed to FOX40 that he has requested the police report regarding the crash.