Why I’m Voting For Brian Butler

Published 7:15 am Wednesday, May 27, 2015

Editor, The Herald:

A few of my friends are apparently surprised that I am endorsing, campaigning, and voting for Brian T. Butler. I don’t feel it is necessary for me to justify my vote, but this is not about me. It is about our community, Prince Edward County. And although I would love for our Commonwealth Attorney to be one intelligent, ambitious, and enthusiastic woman who also happens to be my fellow alumna, it would be nothing short of selfish of me to vote for anybody but Brian. My decision is informed and made with my county’s best interest at heart.

Brian Butler is invested in our community. That does not merely mean that he lives, works, owns property, and pays taxes here. He is committed to serving Prince Edward County. The most obvious evidence of this commitment is his time with Prince Edward County Volunteer Rescue Squad. Brian joined the squad in 1989, and 26 years later he still responds to calls. Four of those years, Brian spent as a President and twenty years as Captain of the squad. He recruits and trains new EMTs and has traveled to sites of disasters all over Virginia to assist other communities in emergencies and recovery. But Brian’s commitment moves beyond his service as a paramedic. A firefighter himself, he continues to show his support for all of our local Volunteer Fire Departments. Ask any firefighter what they think of Brian and they will tell you exactly why he has their vote. And that is just what Brian does with his free time. As a Deputy Commonwealth Attorney for Prince Edward County, Brian is a member of S.A.L.T. Council and participates in many other crime prevention activities and organizations such as National Night Out and Neighborhood Watch.

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Brian Butler has the required and desired experience and qualifications to become the next Commonwealth Attorney for our county. He took his Bar exam in 1998 and passed. For next five years he was in private practice as a criminal defense attorney. In 2004 he took the plunge to the other side and was hired as an Assistant Commonwealth Attorney in Prince Edward County. Three years later he was designated a career prosecutor. Hard work and loyalty to the community paid off, and in 2013, Brian became the Chief Deputy. In his 17 years as an attorney, Brian attended hundreds of training and seminars that deal with everything related to his job – from crime prevention to forensic interviewing of children in abuse cases. He has prosecuted thousands of cases in all three courts (Juvenile and Domestic Relations, General District, and Circuit), all while maintaining a growing respect from people who know his job best but who also face him in court – the defense attorneys. The entire criminal defense bar of Prince Edward County endorses Brian Butler for Commonwealth. From professional experience, I know that these attorneys mean it too. Last year I faced a great obstacle in assisting an elderly individual in our county. I called an attorney who often serves as a GAL for elderly or incapacitated individuals and asked him for advice. His advice was “call Brian.” So I did. It was a Sunday. And within an hour Brian helped me overcome that obstacle. It was not his duty to do so, nor was he at work at that moment. But it was a right thing to do and it demonstrates his commitment to our community.

Which reminds me of yet another reason why I m voting for Brian—Assistant Commonwealth Attorneys Morgan Greer and Robert Bauer. Just like their direct supervisor, these two attorneys, hired and mentored by Brian, have a tremendous sense of justice and fairness and are committed to their jobs and this community. In preparing for court, Robert once pleasantly surprised me with his knowledge of details from the interviews I conducted. I asked him how he knew all that and his “matter of fact answer” was that he watched the recordings. All seven hours of them. Morgan is a great friend, but that is not the only reason I can tell whether justice was served just by looking at him. I witnessed Morgan fight for victims in court, as if he knew them personally. Every case he encounters matters. Morgan also holds positions in many civic and political organizations in the county and is very active and enthusiastic. This says much about Robert and Morgan but it also says a whole lot about Brian’s skills as a supervisor and office manager. I also absolutely adore the rest of that office too, to include Cindy, Vicki, Cecilia, Robin, Laurie, and Elizabeth. I have never seen them without smiles on their faces.

Finally…do I think a woman prosecutor is needed in that office? Absolutely. But not at the expense of experience and commitment to the community. When Brian Butler becomes the Commonwealth Attorney for Prince Edward County, there will be an opening. I encourage every single bar certified female who wants to begin serving our county to apply. If she is qualified and has the experience, knowledge, and commitment that this position requires, Brian will most certainly, without a shadow of doubt, hire her. Then we will have the best of both worlds.

Sue Vilic