Prosecutor’s lighter side: Mike Abbott entertains spectators during the May 2013 murder mystery dinner theater at Appalachia Cultural Arts Center. Abbott recently asked Appalachia to donate his town attorney salary to ACAC and the Appalachia Veterans’ Wall after being promoted to interim commonwealth’s attorney.
Mike Abbott’s loves for community theater and things honoring military veterans have moved him to open his wallet and make gifts to two Appalachia institutions.
Abbott asked Appalachia at January’s town council meeting to give the remainder of this year’s town attorney salary to the Appalachia Cultural Arts Center and the Veterans’ Memorial Wall at Glenwood King Park — and asked the town to give any remaining money to the town’s Little League program.
Abbott was promoted to interim county commonwealth’s attorney following the resignation of Ron Elkins, who took a judgeship. The raise Abbott got for that promotion motivated him to make the donation.
“I think I could have kept the money, but I wouldn’t feel right doing it,” Abbott said last Wednesday. “I’ve got the salary of a commonwealth’s attorney.”
Abbott plans to retire after a commonwealth’s attorney is elected this coming November, but also wants to continue as town attorney past his retirement, which will probably be in January or February next year. Once he’s retired, Abbott said, he could give more time to serving as town attorney and is hoping the town will reinstate the salary, noting that he’ll still have bills to pay in retirement.
“I felt the cultural arts center and veterans’ wall and Little League could use it better and need it more than I did,” Abbott said last Wednesday, adding that he recommended the town give $1,000 to the center, $1,000 to the veterans’ wall and “what they could to the Little League.”
Abbott a couple of years ago staged a murder mystery dinner theater at the cultural arts center to help raise funds for ACAC.
“Two loves I have are being a veteran and being an actor,” Abbott said during council meeting. “The other love I have is Little League, so maybe give them a little bit of money too. Take it and do good.”
A Wise resident, Abbott previously served as a member of that town’s council. He estimated he’s been Appalachia’s town attorney 12-15 years: “I’ve become part of it,” he said of Appalachia.
“I was on town council in Wise for four years in the ‘90s, and when I did that I got the love for working for towns,” Abbott said. Citizens “rarely get a chance to give back, so I gave back my four years on town council and enjoyed that. . . . I didn’t want to be on council any more and make decisions, but decided I would enjoy making legal calls and advising on legal” matters.
Abbott plans to renew another of his passions over the upcoming Valentine’s Day weekend. He’ll travel to Myrtle Beach, S.C. to run his 73rd marathon.