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Bart Menser, says outgoing District Attorney Andrew Murray, is like EF Hutton: When Bart Menser talks, people listen.
And talk he did, to literally hundreds of incoming prosecutors and other staffers in the Mecklenburg DA’s office over the past 30 years. As deputy district attorney, Menser would hold what Murray calls The Bart Talk with each new lawyer. Menser would make abundantly clear the expectations he and the office had of them: To act ethically at all times, to do the right thing and to remember that you don’t have much but your word.
Those lawyers he mentored went on to become judges and DAs and U.S. attorneys and among the sharpest lawyers in town. Menser’s influence is stamped not only all over the Mecklenburg district attorney’s office but throughout the criminal justice system.
Now 67, Menser is retiring this week and will get some hard-earned time with his young granddaughters. Charlotte and Mecklenburg County, including the thousands of people who have never heard of him but were affected by his work, owe him a big thank you.
Menser had “the most profound impact on justice in Mecklenburg County of anyone in my lifetime,” defense lawyer Eben Rawls said at a retirement party for Menser on Thursday.