MANTI—The new Sanpete County Deputy Attorney has seen his share of the world, but he is eager to settle down into the Sanpete Valley.
Arek Butler officially started the job June 12. He said he is looking forward to working alongside County Attorney Kevin Daniels and the other Deputy Attorney Wes Mangum and the other courthouse staffers in the Utah’s 6th Judicial District.
Because Sanpete County is one of only two jurisdictions in the state with a prison in it, Butler and his colleagues at the courthouse are met with a diversity of cases. He said he looks forward to working on the big cases that come his way during his time in Sanpete.
And beyond just being able to work on the big cases, Butler said the job is a way to make sure justice is happening. He said he knows that justice is not always the end result to litigation, but it is well worth the effort.
“It does take a while and grind slowly,” he said, “but at the end of some cases there are good outcomes, and you can say ‘Man, I put somebody in prison for doing something, and there’s justice now.’”
Butler grew up in Farmington, New Mexico, a city in the northern part of the state. Following his high school graduation, he entered the U.S. Marines.
After leaving the military, Butler attended BYU with a major in political science. Though various jobs landed him in other places, he stayed in Utah. He also stayed with BYU, where he earned a dual law and Master of Public Administration degree. He passed the bar exam in 2007. He has kept the cougar spirit, always ready to cheer BYU football to a victory.
Butler has been to and lived in a myriad of places. He held an internship in Washington, D.C., where he lived in Manassas, Va. And, as a member of the LDS Church, he served a mission in Washington as well. While serving in the Marines, he landed in Hawaii, California, Korea, Thailand, Europe, Germany and Austria.
Currently, he lives in Vernal, commuting to Manti for work until he and his family get settled in a county farmhouse.
Butler and his wife have four children, with one in the Marines, one attending Utah Valley University, a son starting high school and a youngest daughter starting middle school.
Butler’s parents have lived in the Sanpete area for around 15 years. And even though the proximity to family is what drew him to the job, he said he is happy to be a part of the small community.
“We are definitely small town people,” he said. “We like close-knit communities.”
He enjoys the many wonders of Utah where he camps with his family, rafts on a river, golfs or goes shooting. He also spends his free time working on his car or welding for different projects that need attention.
When it comes to law, Butler said he likes the versatility of the degree.
“There’s a million things you can do, if you want to get into politics or business or law enforcement,” he said.
In fact, there was a time Butler thought he would join the FBI, but by the time he turned in his application at age 36, he was beyond the age requirements. But, for him, litigation comes easy.
“I like to argue,” he joked.
But in reality, Butler said that a litigator has to be comfortable with conflict, which is no bother to him. And he said enjoys the fast-paced environment, constantly meeting with clients, victims and witnesses, and spending hours on the court room floor.
“It’s certainly more exciting than sitting in front of a computer all day,” he said.