AVON — The city of Avon will bring in an outside prosecutor to handle the court case against Councilman Bob Butkowski for an alleged domestic violence incident that occurred last week.
Butkowski, 44, was arrested 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.
The councilman is scheduled to appear in Avon Lake Municipal Court this morning before Judge Darrel Bilancini. On Monday, Avon City Council President Craig Witherspoon released a statement on behalf of the city on the matter.
“We are aware of the arrest and charges brought against Ward 1 Councilman Bob Butkowski. While we cannot comment on specifics of the case as it goes through the legal process, charges of this nature must be taken seriously and weighed carefully in court,” Witherspoon’s statement said. “Because of Mr. Butkowski’s role in city government, and to ensure impartiality, we have retained an outside prosecutor to handle the city’s side of the proceedings. He continues to serve on City Council as this issue is resolved in court, per the city charter.”
Bilancini said he understands why the city decided to bring in outside counsel to handle the case since Butkowski is an employee of the city; however, Bilancini said he has no intention of bringing in a visiting judge to preside over the case.
“I don’t know Mr. Butkowski, and I don’t live in Avon,” Bilancini said. “I have no reason to not handle the case.”
Bob Butkowski faces a charge of domestic violence by causing the belief of imminent physical harm by threat or force, according to a police report from the incident. On Monday, he emailed a statement to The Chronicle-Telegram regarding the matter.
“I have been involved in a contentious divorce proceeding for nearly two years. Throughout this difficult time, there have been constant efforts to portray me and my relationship with my family in the worst possible light,” he said. “Public records would show this has not been the first attempt to get me arrested. There were four prior calls to the police, by my wife, with no wrongdoing ever found.”
Avon police provided incident reports from two prior domestic disputes at the Butkowski residence — one in June 2017 and another in June 2018.
“These are unfounded attacks on my name and reputation. I realize that emotional and hurtful things can happen in any divorce, but because this private family matter has become public, I felt driven to make this statement to defend my good name,” Butkowski said. “I also do not want to see the reputation of the city of Avon drawn into my personal situation. I appreciate and respect the Avon police, who have treated these incidents with dignity and professionalism.
“I plan to stand up in court and vigorously defend myself against these baseless charges. The truth will come out.”