Suffolk DA Dan Conley Is Leaving Office after 16 Years

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2014 photo via AP/Elise Amendola

Suffolk DA Dan Conley will not seek re-election this year and will no longer serve in the role he’s held for 16 years, the city’s top prosecutor announced Tuesday.

He is planning to serve out his term, but will not seek reelection and will hand off the seat to a successor in January after the election in November.

“Since Feb. 20, 2002, it’s been my honor and privilege to serve the people of Boston, Chelsea, Revere, and Winthrop as Suffolk County District Attorney,” he said in a statement. “I love the job, the office, its staff, and the people and communities we serve.  But I have long believed that those of us fortunate enough to lead as elected officials must also be willing to give others the same opportunity. For this reason, I will not be seeking re-election this fall.”

Conley first took office in 2002, after serving as assistant district attorney for Suffolk County for nine years. Since then, according to his bio on the DA’s website, his career milestones include implementing a new system for investigating officer-involved killings, reducing the county’s house of correction population, vacating sentences for several wrongly convicted innocent men (including a Roslindale man freed last year after 38 years behind bars) and helping pass legislation to extend the statute of limitations for sexual crimes against children and keep young sex trafficking victims out of the criminal justice system. His office oversees a staff of 265 and handles 35,000 cases a year, the biography says. He’s a lifelong Bostonian.

A former Boston city councilor, Conley also ran unsuccessfully for mayor in 2013, and questions about what his future might hold have popped up occasionally since then. He has not indicated plans for a next step.

His full statement:

Since Feb. 20, 2002, it’s been my honor and privilege to serve the people of Boston, Chelsea, Revere, and Winthrop as Suffolk County District Attorney.  I love the job, the office, its staff, and the people and communities we serve.  But I have long believed that those of us fortunate enough to lead as elected officials must also be willing to give others the same opportunity.  For this reason, I will not be seeking re-election this fall.

The past 16 years have been a period of unprecedented innovations within the office, many of them years ahead of their time. From eyewitness evidence reform to juvenile diversion, I have been fortunate enough to bring these projects to fruition with a world-class team, men and women of uncompromising integrity and deeply heartfelt compassion.  These lawyers, advocates, investigators, and others will be a tremendous asset to the 15th Suffolk District Attorney, whoever he or she may be.

At a time when law enforcement has come under intense scrutiny across the county I’d be remiss if I didn’t thank the men and women of law enforcement across Suffolk County for their courage, their determination to do a difficult job well, and the standard they set for other agencies across the country.  Our local and state leaders, our partner agencies from the non-profit and service provider community, and countless others who shared their experience to inform our revisions to policy and procedure – I could not possibly name all of them, or ever thank them enough.  

Finally, but most important of all, the people of Suffolk County have been a blessing to me.  I cannot thank them enough for the support they have provided to me, my staff, and my family through the years.  From victims and survivors to families and loved ones, they have shown a depth of dignity and grace amid crisis and grief that has been nothing short of inspirational. I am so grateful to them for their kindness, their wisdom, and their faith.

Source URL: https://www.bostonmagazine.com/news/2018/02/20/dan-conley/