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Vottero to announce bid for DA's post by month's end

Date: 1/4/2010

Jan. 4, 2010

By Courtney Llewellyn

Reminder Assistant Editor

WILBRAHAM -- If anything can be said of Attorney Brett Vottero, it is that he enjoys what he does.

The Wilbraham resident of more than 20 years has built up a large resume since becoming a trial lawyer 25 years ago. He's been a prosecutor for more than two decades, a Hampden County assistant district attorney under both Matthew Ryan and William Bennett, worked in Boston under Attorney General Scott Harshbarger and served as chief of the homicide unit during his last eight years working for the Hampden District Attorney's office. He currently works in private practice.

"I like a challenge," Vottero told Reminder Publications. He recently noted his interest in running for the district attorney's seat; current District Attorney William Bennett announced recently he will not seek re-election next year.

"I was only in the DA's office a few weeks before I discovered what a privilege and pleasure it was to work for the victims of crime," he explained. "In my experience, that's what stands out the most working with victims and the families of victims."

Vottero added that he's done everything one can do as an assistant district attorney, and the reason he's eyeing the DA's seat is because the DA gets to set policies and priorities for the entire county.

"My belief is that we can be living in the safest area of the country," he stated. "Springfield has this perception of fear that can be overcome. It can be a great city ... and that requires very difficult work by not just the DA's office but the police and the people in the communities."

Vottero said he's not just interested in the job of the district attorney but in the entire office that backs that position. As someone who worked in that office, he said he realizes how important the attorneys and support staff are and how important their work is.

"There are so many things a district attorney can do to reduce crime than lock people up," he said. "I'd use every tool I had available."

He added that a politician is not something the position needs. "We don't need someone with political experience," Vottero said. "We need someone who's fair and follows the law."

In addition to his work as an attorney, Vottero is a volunteer with Children's International Summer Villages (CISV), an organization that aims to create lifelong friendships across national borders. He participated in a summer village when he was 11 years old and has been involved with CISV since. Vottero is a past national president of the organization and started the Greater Springfield chapter more than a decade ago. He currently serves as CISV's international risk manager.

The father of three, Vottero's youngest child is currently a senior at Minnechaug Regional High School. He said he's very excited about the new high school project.

Vottero said his campaign for district attorney will be underway soon; he plans to make a formal announcement sometime this month.

"I'm eager to begin," he said.

The Hampden District Attorney represents the towns and cities of Agawam, Blandford, Brimfield, Chester, Chicopee, East Longmeadow, Granville, Hampden, Holland, Holyoke, Longmeadow, Ludlow, Monson, Montgomery, Palmer, Russell, Southwick, Springfield, Tolland, Wales, West Springfield, Westfield and Wilbraham.