In November 2014, Scott Williams defeated the incumbent Republican for the position of Vermont state’s attorney in Washington County. He won the office on a campaign of striving to be “smarter on crime,” playing an active leadership role in law enforcement, and ensuring that victims are given a better “voice” in the criminal court system.
“I am working to bring others, and particularly government decision makers, to realize that responding to crime as a public health issue is, in the long run, a more effective approach than the traditional ‘law enforcement’ model,” says Scott. “My staff and I are trying to create space within which we will seek to build efficient and smart structures for how our community as a whole responds to crime.”
A graduate of Temple University Law School, Scott brings a wealth of experience to his new job, with almost 20 years practicing law, most recently in his own firm, Williams & Gray. He says he is well suited to his position because he enjoys working with people, and he realizes the value of collaborative work, but he’s also comfortable being “the boss.” Perhaps more importantly, he has a profound sense of humanity. “As a former defense attorney, I am aware of and empathetic to the reality of so many people charged with crimes, people for whom we, as a society, seem to have lost any sense of forgiveness.”
When he is not lawyering, Scott loves being with his family, skiing, and of course running a chain saw. He still loves to read, often four books at once: “the Kindle is Satan’s spawn,” he says. “For years I have pitched to anyone who would listen the value of a Marlboro education. Not only the willingness to question but the typically unavoidable questioning of the existing paradigm.”