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UPDATE: Councilman Charged With Selling Drugs

By: Chris Woodard Email
By: Chris Woodard Email

UPDATED: Saturday, October 22, 2011 --- 5:47p.m.

WHITEWATER, Wis. (AP) -- A Whitewater councilman who pleaded guilty to a felony charge of delivering marijuana has resigned his seat.

Twenty-two-year-old Javonni M. Butler of New Berlin (BUR'-lin) was convicted Friday. Prosecutors say he twice sold drugs to an undercover informant.

He was sentenced to 45 days in jail and two years on probation.

A message left with his public defender Saturday afternoon was not immediately returned.

A Janesville Gazette report (http://bit.ly/obbRl8 ) says he was re-elected to the city council earlier this year as a write-in candidate.

He had no choice but to give up his council seat. The state Government Accountability Board says anyone convicted of a felony is prohibited from holding office. He won't be able to run again until the felony charge is expunged from his record.

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Information from: The Janesville Gazette, http://www.gazetteextra.com

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POSTED: Tuesday, May 17, 2011 --- 9:25 p.m.

A Whitewater City Council member is charged with two felonies for allegedly selling drugs to an undercover informant.

Tonight he says he has no plans to step down.

In the first interview since charges were filed Javonni Butler says the people he represents can still trust him.

Only a few hours after two felony drug charges are filed against him Butler is taking his seat at a Whitewater City Council meeting.

Sheriff's deputies say Butler sold marijuana to a police informant twice in March, the second time one week before he was re-elected to the city council.

He tells us it's a seat he'll keep.

Butler says, "Without a doubt I'll be able to continue my job. It doesn't question my morals or my integrity at all and like I said it's an ongoing case so I'd rather not comment on it."

According to the Janesville Gazette the criminal complaint in the case alleges an informant wore a wire and bought marijuana from Butler twice at his apartment, details he won't talk about.

He says, "I actually have no comments right now. It's an ongoing case so it's something that we're taking care of."

Butler says as these charges play out in court he plans to continue serving on the council and at least right now the council is not taking any action against him.

Whitewater City Council President Patrick Singer says, "These charges just came out today so we're still taking a look at it but the court system needs to play itself out first."

Butler is a UW-Whitewater student and the campus is part of the area he represents.

Singer says, "I think, obviously, the charges are very serious but we need to remember there is innocent until proven guilty. We need to let the criminal justice system play itself out."

The 22-year-old Butler was arrested by the Walworth County Drug Unit, released on signature bond and is scheduled to make his next court appearance in early June.


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