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Guilty plea in marijuana case forces Whitewater city councilman to step down

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Kevin Hoffman
October 22, 2011
— Whitewater Councilman Javonni Butler was forced to step down from his elected seat Friday, creating a void that city council President Patrick Singer hopes to fill within a month.

Butler pleaded guilty Friday to a felony charge of delivering marijuana. Police say he twice sold drugs to an undercover informant earlier this year.


Butler, 22, New Berlin, will spend 45 days in jail and two years on probation as part of a plea agreement reached with the prosecution.


Butler was re-elected to the Whitewater City Council earlier this year as a registered write-in.


Other council members previously said they weren’t sure whether the crimes would affect his public position, but members of the state Government Accountability Board said anyone convicted of a felony is prohibited from holding office.


Singer said Butler’s seat was immediately vacated Friday following the guilty plea. The city will soon advertise the open seat and look to appoint someone as early as November, Singer said.


The vacancy is in the city’s second aldermanic district. The term expires this spring.


Butler was arrested and charged May 17 with two counts of delivering marijuana. A police informant wore a wire and bought marijuana from Butler on March 16 and 18 at his apartment near the UW-Whitewater’s campus, according to the criminal complaint.


Butler was the only member of council attending UW-Whitewater, but he is not enrolled this semester.


Butler carried on his duties with the city council while charges against him were pending. Court records indicate he will begin his jail sentence Monday.


Butler is unable to run for public office until the felony charge is expunged from his record, according to the plea agreement. The state allows residents to run for office as long as the convictions are stricken from their records.


The plea agreement required Butler to plead guilty to one count of delivering marijuana and a misdemeanor charge of possession of THC. He will be allowed work release while serving his jail sentence.



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