Peter M. Williams
Deputy Secretary and General Counsel
Peter M. Williams was appointed by Governor Brown as Deputy Secretary, General Counsel for the Business, Consumer Services and Housing Agency in January 2016. He serves as the advisor to the Secretary, providing legal counsel and advice on a wide range of issues affecting the Agency and the several departments, boards, bureaus and commissions within the Agency.
Mr. Williams worked in private practice for 6 years before joining the Attorney General’s office in 2001. At the Attorney General’s office, he worked for the Tobacco Litigation Section and was responsible for several published appellate and California Supreme Court opinions against large tobacco companies. Thereafter, he worked in the office’s Government Law section where he drafted the Attorney General’s official ballot summaries and defended state departments in state and federal litigation with outside parties in matters ranging from contract disputes to alleged violations of the federal Individuals with Disabilities Education Act.
For the last several years at the Attorney General’s office, Mr. Williams worked in the Financial Fraud and Special Prosecutions Unit. There he supervised the unit’s Northern California Deputy Attorneys General while prosecuting offenders for bribery, corruption, investment fraud, tax evasion and human trafficking, among other crimes. During this time, he was also cross-designated by both the Eastern and Central Districts of California as a Special Assistant United States Attorney where he successfully indicted and prosecuted over 25 defendants for contraband tobacco smuggling.
Mr. Williams also co-founded and helped oversee the Tax Recovery and Criminal Enforcement (TRaCE) task force, made up of local, state and federal law enforcement agents both in Sacramento and in Los Angeles, whose mission is to investigation and combat California’s vast underground economy.
Mr. Williams earned a bachelor’s degree from the University of California Santa Barbara and a Juris Doctor degree from the University of San Diego, School of Law.