Daily Briefs


Burton-Harris named chief assistant Washtenaw  County prosecutor

Washtenaw County Prosecutor-Elect Eli Savit—who is expected to take office on January 1, 2021—on Monday announced that he will appoint attorney Victoria Burton-Harris as Washtenaw County’s chief assistant prosecuting attorney. The chief assistant prosecuting attorney, a statutory position, is the top appointed assistant in the Prosecutor’s Office.

Burton-Harris is a widely respected attorney who practices in state and federal courts throughout Michigan. Her practice focuses on criminal law and family law, and she has tried cases ranging from misdemeanors to capital offenses.

Burton-Harris recently gained national prominence as a reformist candidate for Wayne County Prosecutor. She received nearly 40% of the vote in the August Democratic primary against longtime Prosecuting Attorney Kym Worthy. Burton-Harris also received a slew of major national endorsements, including Senator Bernie Sanders (I-VT), musician and criminal-justice reform activist John Legend, the Color of Change PAC, and the Real Justice PAC.

Burton-Harris is a graduate of Wayne State University Law School and the University of Michigan. Her appointment as chief assistant Washtenaw County prosecutor makes her the second-ranking attorney in the county where she spent her undergraduate years.

“I am honored to join Eli as his chief assistant prosecuting attorney,” Burton-Harris said. “We share the same vision for fair and equal justice for all people. Together, we will create a model for progressive prosecution that addresses the root causes of crime. I am ready to work to create a more safe and just Washtenaw County.”

“I am so thrilled to welcome Victoria to the Washtenaw County Prosecutor’s Office,” Savit said. “Not only is she a top-notch legal talent, she is warm, community-oriented—and a supremely talented manager and policy expert.”

“Over the course of the past year, I’ve gotten to know Victoria,” Savit continued. “She and I ran on platforms that were focused on equity, fairness, and prioritizing rehabilitation and restoration in our justice system. But beyond our policy alignment, Victoria is simply a wonderful human being. All of us in Washtenaw County should feel fortunate that Victoria is bringing her talents to our community.”

Since Savit’s victory in the August Democratic primary, Burton-Harris has been advising Savit as a member of his transition team. She played no role, however, in the transition team’s search for a Chief Assistant Prosecutor.

Burton-Harris’s appointment also represents a historic milestone for the Washtenaw Prosecutor’s Office. Upon taking the oath of office, Burton-Harris will be the first female Chief Assistant Prosecuting Attorney in Washtenaw County—and the highest-ranking woman ever in the Prosecutor’s Office.


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