US Attorney Carmen Ortiz Has Announced She Is Stepping Down
Capping off a career that includes the prosecution of Dzhokhar Tsarnaev, Whitey Bulger, and Sal DiMasi, US Attorney Carmen Ortiz on Wednesday announced her plans to step down in January.
Her last day will be January 13. Ortiz, a Democrat, has served in the role since being nominated by Barack Obama in 2009, when she became the first woman, and also the first Hispanic person to hold the position.
“I have been honored to serve the people of Massachusetts as U.S. Attorney and to have been part of this Administration,” Ortiz says in a statement. “It has been a privilege to work alongside some of the most talented professionals in the Department of Justice.”
Her replacement for the job, the duties for which include setting priorities for the state law enforcement and prosecuting cases that include high-profile crimes, will be picked by the incoming administration of Donald Trump.
The Globe compiled a list of possible candidates to replace her last month, noting that it’s customary for the state’s highest-ranking member of the president-elect’s party to make a recommendation. That would be Gov. Charlie Baker, whose relationship with Trump has been less than amicable.
A blow to Ortiz’s accomplishments came yesterday, when an appeals court overturned the convictions of officials at the state’s Probation Department, who had been sentenced under her watch for their roles in a patronage scandal. Her office has not decided whether to appeal.
Among Ortiz-led cases still pending is an investigation into union dealings in the city—a probe that extends to City Hall.
Ortiz also formed the state’s first-ever Civil Rights Unit in 2015, which last year found evidence of discrimination at the Boston Latin School and a civil rights violation.
“Together we prosecuted many significant cases that have resonated around the nation,” she says in the statement. “While I am excited about the future and look forward to embracing new challenges, I will miss participating in the important work this office is involved with on a daily basis. Some of the accomplishments of which I am the proudest have been in the areas of counterterrorism, white collar prosecutions, civil rights enforcement, combatting human trafficking and child exploitation, and community outreach. We have brought countless criminals to justice, sought recourse for many victims and survivors of crime, and worked tirelessly to make our communities safe and healthy places to live and work.”