William Tate was a sheriff deputy who was later elected mayor of Smallville.
He was a recurring antagonist in the WB TV series Smallville. He was the main antagonist of the Season Three episode "Relic".
Deputy Tate was portrayed by Michael Karl Richards and Mayor Tate was portrayed by William B. Davis, who also played the Cigarette-Smoking Man in The X-Files, Whitley in The Thing (2002) and Robert Parker in Medium Raw: Night of the Wolf.
In the 1960s Smallville, William Tate had joined the Sheriff's Department as a deputy. He fell in love with a woman named Louise McCallum but she had already married his friend Dex. Deputy Tate apprehended Lachlan Luthor after he tried to rob Louise at gunpoint. William later caught Louise having an affair with a drifter named Joe.
Tate interrupts Jor-El and Louise, making out in Louise's car. Louise sends him away saying Joe is just taking her home. Jealous, Tate had Lachlan Luthor released to kill Joe and frame Dex for the murder. However, Lachlan accidentally killed Louise, instead of the drifter. Arriving on the scene, William found Dexter holding Louise's body and arrested him for murder.
Deputy Tate continued his service to the Smallville police force for another thirty years and eventually became sheriff. By the 1990s, Sheriff Tate retired from law enforcement and ran for mayor.
Lex Luthor met with Mayor Tate for zoning approval of an expansion of the fertilizer plant. The mayor insinuates that it will take more than a simple request to get the approval and mentions Lionel Luthor's generous donations and speedy approvals. Lex maintains that LexCorp does not do bribes and Mayor Tate leaves, reminding Lex how much it would cost to shut down the expansion.
Later, Lex meets with Mayor Tate again, this time showing him a political advertisement that details all of his shady dealings. He tells Tate that he will back the other candidate during Tate's re-election and the two exchange words. Lex warned Tate that he is prepared to fight against him in any way and suggests he resign first.
While trying to prove her aunt's husband was innocent, Lana Lang asked Clark Kent to help investigate the circumstances around Aunt Louise's death. Clark and Lana visit Mayor Tate who tells them that Dex and Louise McCallum were his best friends. He doesn't remember Lachlan Luthor and didn't believe there ever was a drifter.
Tate to believe that Dex was innocent more than anyone and remarked that Lana bears a striking resemblance to Louise. When, Clark looks over Mayor Tate's certificates, he notices that his signature matches the love letter. When Mayor Tate touches his shoulder, he has another flashback.
Clark and Lana try to convince Sheriff Adams that Mayor Tate made a deal with Lachlan Luthor to kill the drifter and pin it on Dex so that he could have Louise all to himself. The Sheriff thinks they are crazy, and heads off to solve some crimes committed in this century.
Mayor Tate was later confronted by the apparent ghost of the drifter, (secretly Clark who dressed in Jor-El's jacket and memory pendant). He uses his heat vision and super speed to convince the mayor that he is a ghost. Clark tells him to confess what he'd done, or he'd never have another day of peace. The mayor tries to shoot himself, but Clark stops him.
Sheriff Adams arrives in answer to the silent alarm, and Tate confesses to the murder of Louise. He was subsequently sent to prison and has not been seen since.