AVON LAKE – Avon Councilman Bob Butkowski pleaded not guilty at his arraignment in Avon Lake Municipal Court on a charge of domestic violence.
Butkowski, 44, was arrested Jan. 18 by Avon police when officers were called to his Wendell Street home after his wife, Lisa Butkowski, said her husband had forced his way into the bedroom and would not leave. Police had said he and his wife Lisa were going through an acrimonious divorce, but were still living in the same house.
Butkowski and his lawyer, Douglas W. Merrill appeared before Judge Darrel Bilancini, to also request the opportunity to retrieve 11 items from his home under the supervision of a law enforcement officer. The most important of items, Merrill said were work-related items on one of the computers in the home. Butkowski’s and his wife Lisa’s lawyers couldn’t come to a total agreement on two of the items due to information that could be accessed through the computer.
Butkowski, who denied the charges in a statement released Monday, was elected to Avon council in 2013 and re-elected in 2017. In the statement he said his wife has made multiple attempts to get him arrested during their nearly two years of the divorce process.
On Monday, Avon City Council President Craig Witherspoon released a statement on behalf of the city on the matter. The statement read that the council was aware of the charges brought against Butkowski, but cannot comment on the specifics of the case during its legal process. Because of his role in Avon City government, Witherspoon’s statement would be using an outside prosecutor to handle the city’s side of the legal proceedings. The council also plans to allow him to continue to serve on council as the issue is resolved.
Lisa Butkowski is seeking a temporary protection order against Bob Butkowski, and a hearing is set for Friday at 10 a.m. related to the request. The next hearing for the domestic violence case is scheduled for Feb. 12 at 11 a.m.