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Virginia Beach prosecutor to step down

After 12 years as commonwealth’s attorney, Harvey Bryant says he will leave office at the end of next year when his term expires.

Bryant tells The Virginian-Pilot he will support his second-in-command, Chief Deputy Commonwealth’s Attorney Colin Stolle, in the election next year.

Bryant, 66, said he decided this past fall that he would retire at the end of his term. He told the paper he doesn’t want to work past 71 and felt it would be dishonest to ask voters for another four-year term if he planned to quit halfway through.

“I want to leave here while all my parts are still moving and be able to do some things with my grandchildren,” he said.

Bryant began his prosecution career in the Norfolk commonwealth’s attorney’s office. In 1979, he entered private practice with the firm of Rabinowitz, Rafal and Swartz. In 1987, Bryant went back to prosecuting for the United States Attorney’s Office for the Eastern District of Virginia, where he was eventually promoted to chief of the division criminal section.

In 2000, Bryant was appointed to fill the remaining term of Commonwealth’s Attorney Robert Humphreys, who had been appointed to the Virginia Court of Appeals.  Bryant ran in a special election in 2000 and again in 2001 for a full four-year term, and has been re-elected two other times.

The Virginia Beach Commonwealth’s Attorney’s office is one of the largest in Virginia, with  37 attorneys.

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