Assistant to put off retirement to fill in

Special
William "Bill" Bowcutt, the Augusta Judicial Circuit District Attorney, has worked in the office for 19 years, the past 11 as the chief assistant district attorney. Born in Montana and raised in Wyoming, Mr. Bowcutt graduated from the University of Denver Law School.

After a brush with mortality last year, longtime assistant district attorney Bill Bowcutt decided it was time to call it a career.

Despite turning in his resignation, he hasn't left the office, putting his plans temporarily on hold when District Attorney Danny Craig resigned to take a Superior Court judgeship. As chief assistant district attorney, the duty fell on Mr. Bowcutt to replace Judge Craig until Gov. Sonny Perdue decides on a replacement.

"I can assure the citizens of Burke, Columbia, and Richmond counties that they are being served by a good man who, as a dedicated public servant, has demonstrated unsurpassed skill, courage and wisdom in every area of responsibility assigned to the district attorney," Judge Craig wrote in an e-mail last week.

Mr. Bowcutt decided to resign after recovering from back surgery and heart problems last year. It convinced him that life is too short.

"I decided I needed to go smell the roses," he said.

Mr. Bowcutt has worked in the district attorney's office for 19 years. He served as the chief assistant district attorney for 11 years. It's a position similar to a managing partner in a law firm.

Mr. Bowcutt doesn't expect to make any major changes during his time as district attorney. Many of the procedures already in place have his fingerprints all over them.

And Mr. Bowcutt said he believes that since the people elected Judge Craig to serve as district attorney, it is his approach that voters want in their prosecutors.

Mr. Bowcutt is a direct, no-nonsense type of person, a Westerner by birth. The strong independent ways of the Old West permeate Mr. Bowcutt's approach.

"You don't get overtime. You just get over it," reads a sign over his desk.

The University of Denver Law School graduated ended up in Augusta because of a job opportunity for his wife, Marilyn Bowcutt, at University Hospital.

When he is finally able to resign from the job that takes 60 to 70 hours a week, Mr. Bowcutt expects to remain in the Augusta area. Mrs. Bowcutt, he said, has no intention of resigning or retiring anytime soon.

Reach Sandy Hodson at (706) 823-3226 or sandy.hodson@augustachronicle.com.