U.S. Representative G. K. Butterfield
1st District of North Carolina
Contact: Ken Willis
Butterfield Urges Perdue to Consider Appointing Black DA
Wilson, N.C. – Congressman G. K. Butterfield has urged Gov. Bev Perdue to consider appointing an African American to replace outgoing District Attorney for Edgecombe, Nash and Wilson counties.
Howard S. Boney, the district attorney for the Seventh Judicial District, recently announced his retirement effective May 1, 2009. Boney has served as district attorney for 31 years.
Butterfield wrote to Perdue to urge her to interview and consider appointing an African American to finish Boney’s unexpired term.
The following is the text of the letter sent today by Butterfield:
Dear Governor Perdue:
It has come to my attention that Howard S. Boney, Jr., District Attorney for the Seventh Prosecutorial District, has announced his retirement. I write to respectfully request that you interview and consider qualified African-American attorneys for appointment to this important position.
It is essential that we have racial diversity among our state’s District Attorneys. While we have made tremendous progress in the selection of trial and appellate judges, the sad reality is that there is only one African-American District Attorney serving in the State of North Carolina.
It has also come to my attention that among the 17 Assistant District Attorneys serving the Seventh District, just one is African-American; and, of the 20 members of the support staff, just one is African-American. This lack of diversity should be an embarrassment to the progressive reputation of our state. It should also be noted that African-Americans comprise 42 percent of the district’s population and more than 60 percent of the voters of the political party of the vacating District Attorney.
I know you share my views on the importance of racial diversity at all levels of our judicial system. It is important that all of our citizens have confidence in the judicial system, and that can be achieved by having qualified persons serving as judges and prosecutors who reflect the diversity of the state and district.
It is my request that you interview and consider qualified African-American attorneys for this appointment.
Thank you very much.