Dedicated Experience in the Augusta County Criminal Justice System

Leadership - Experience - Commitment

 

As a native of the Valley and a long-term member of the local Criminal Justice community, the opportunity to be elected as the next Clerk of Court is an exciting one for me.  I have written about my life experiences and work history to help give you a better idea about why I am the right choice to be the next Clerk of Court for Augusta County. 

 

I graduated from Riverheads High School in 1990 and from Roanoke College in 1994.  My desire to work in the Criminal Justice System came from an internship with Probation and Parole, in 1993.  After college, I went to work as a Probation and Parole office and returned to the area shortly after.   

 

As a Probation and Parole Officer, I was responsible for the monthly case management of offenders. I performed drug tests and conducted transfer investigations as assigned.  In addition, I prepared pre sentence reports, completed sentencing guidelines for the court, prepared post sentencing reports, and conducted record checks as needed. 

 

As a case manager for Blue Ridge Court Services, I provided services to locally responsible offenders in Augusta County, Staunton City, and Highland County. As a case manager, I assessed the needs of offenders, developed supervision plans, and referred them to the proper service providers.  I conducted drug testing of offenders, supervised house arrest cases, and assisted with grant writing for the program.  I maintained working relationships with multiple courts, community service sites, law enforcement agencies, commonwealth attorney's offices, Valley Community Services Board, clerks offices and the public. 

 

It was my supervisor at Blue Ridge Court Services that supported my desire to return to school while working full time.  This decision led to me earning a Masters degree in Public Administration from James Madison University, in May of 2003.  This accomplishment allowed me to become the Director of the Augusta County Victim-Witness Assistance Program and helped me eventually become the Director of the Valley Alcohol Safety Action Program.  

 

As the Director of this Augusta County Victim-Witness Assistance Program, I provided comprehensive information to victims and witnesses of crime in accordance with the Virginia Crime Victim and Witness Rights Act and other applicable laws.  The director oversees the daily operation of the program, is responsible for securing funding through grants, is responsible for complying with any grant reporting requirements, and works directly with victims and witnesses of crime.  In addition, the director is responsible for developing and maintaining relationships with agencies in the community in order to exchange information and obtain services for victims. 

 

As the Director of the Victim-Witness Assistance Program I gained valuable experience in grant writing and fiscal management.  In addition, this position gave me skills that have proven to be helpful when working with the public on emotionally charged issues

 

I left the Augusta County Victim-Witness Assistance Program to become the Director of the Augusta County Department of Agricultural Development.  As the operator of a small farm in the County, this was a great opportunity for me to promote and help preserve Augusta County’s rural heritage for generations to come.  However, I continue to serve the community by writing and managing grants to assist the victims of crime.

 

The office of Agricultural Development was approved in fiscal year 2006.  Working as the Director gave me valuable experience working in a political environment.  I was involved with the budgeting process, legislative issues, legal issues, working with elected officials, and economic development.  This position increased my experience and gave me the knowledge and management skills needed to be an even more effective manager.

 

In 2008, the Augusta County Board of Supervisors dissolved the Department of Agricultural Development.  I returned to working in Agriculture until I was hired as the Director of the Valley Alcohol Safety Action Program in December of 2008. 

 

As the Director of Valley ASAP, I am responsible for the management of a government non-profit agency that operates based on user fees and must meet state certification standards.  This position has given me extensive experience in fiscal management.  I have worked to develop budgets based on limited resources while working to maintain a high level of services for our clients and partner agencies.  In addition, I have gained experience working with a multi-jurisdictional Policy Board.  I have successfully initiated and directed goals, objectives, and program strategies as identified by the Policy Board. 

 

Valley Alcohol Safety Action Program is a non-profit program that offers probationary services to court-referred clients, generally for duration of 6 months to 3 years. Most clients are referred for DWI/DUI, Reckless Driving, Misdemeanor Alcohol/ Drug offenses, and for the supervision of court mandated community service hours.  Court referred clients needing substance abuse treatment are referred to licensed treatment providers. Valley ASAP also works within the community, and with other agencies, to help maintain a public information awareness regarding the problem of drunk driving, and other substance abuse problems.  The Director is responsible for overseeing the daily operations of the program and ensure the program meets the performance standarts for Certification by the Commission on VASAP,  The Director reports to the Policy Board and is responsible for developing and managing the program’s budget.  VASAP agencies do not receive any taxpayer funding and rely on user fees to pay operating costs.  Valley ASAP is one of twenty-four local ASAP programs in the Commonwealth of Virginia.  Each ASAP operates under the Commission on VASAP.  Valley ASAP covers a large service area including the counties of Augusta, Highland, and Rockbridge.  It also serves the cities of Staunton, Waynesboro, Lexington, and Buena Vista.  There are over twenty separate courts, and countless Judges, that rely on Valley ASAP to provide them with services. 

 

Since 1996, I have had the opportunity to serve on many different Boards and to be a member of different clubs an civic organizations.  These experiences have allowed me to meet many different people.  The knowledge I have gained serving these organizations, in different capacities, has helped me grow as a manager. 

 

In 2005, I was appointed to the Blue Ridge Criminal Justice Board and continue to serve as a board member.  I also serve as the Vice-President of the VASAP Director’s Association.  I have served on the following Boards and Committees, the Skyline Kennel Club, the Family Resource and Referral Center, the Legislative Committee of the Virginia Network for Victims and Witnesses of Crime, the Virginia Network for Victims and Witnesses of Crime, the Virginia Community Criminal Justice Association.  (VCCJA), the Augusta County Chamber of Commerce Agriculture Committee, and the Augusta County Fair.  I am proud to be a founding member and former board member of the Valley Children's Center and a former board member of the Child Advocacy Centers of Virginia.  I have received training in organizational skills, conflict resolution, and customer service.  In 2005, I was appointed to the Blue Ridge Criminal Justice Board and continue to serve as a board member. 

In 2008, I completed the Greater Augusta Leadership Program.  This was a great program and allowed me to enhance my leadership skills with a number of business and government leaders who are still active in the community today.  I am particularly proud that the work group I was involved in was able to work with the Augusta County Library to develop a satellite library in Middlebrook.  This project was submitted to the Board of Supervisors as part of the Library’s budget, and was awarded funding.  The Middlebrook satellite library is still open and serving the public today.    

 

In addition to my experience in the Criminal Justice system, I have experience operating a small farm and running several small businesses.  My wife and I received some sheep as a wedding present, in 1998, and have been active and enthusiastic small-scale farmers ever since.  I started a private process serving business with a partner in 1996.  After several years I sold this business to my partner and it is still in operation today.  In 2000, my wife and I purchased a small restaurant in the Shenandoah Valley Regional Airport.  We happily offered home cooked meals to travelers and local customers as well.  The restaurant was a success and we decided to sell it to open a catering business for the added scheduling flexibility.   Our catering business was a success, and a lot of fun.  We loved our customers but decided to stop catering in 2013, to focus on family.  Operating a small business has its challenges but it also teaches you a lot of lessons that cannot be learned anywhere else.  I have used the knowledge gained managing these businesses to help the agencies that I have manage operate through budget cutbacks and other difficult times. 

 

Thank you for reading about me and my history to this point.  I feel that my vast array of work and life experiences has prepared me to be an effective Clerk of Court for Augusta County.  I appreciate you vote on November 5, 2019. 

 
 

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© 2019 by EHDC. Authorized by Miles Bobbitt.