Missouri’s Top Health Official Has History Of Controversies

JEFFERSON CITY, Mo. (AP) — Missouri’s top health official is the face of the effort to end abortions at the only clinic in the state that performs them.

Dr. Randall Williams has generated controversy since becoming director of the Missouri Department of Health and Senior Services after a sometimes tumultuous tenure at a similar job in North Carolina.

Williams oversees the agency that licenses health care facilities. His agency also tracks the spread of disease and is now setting up the state’s medical marijuana program.

Each of those services has spawned disputes in Missouri, with the most recent involving the move to close the state’s Planned Parenthood clinic in St. Louis.

Williams says he anticipated criticism when he took the job.