Suffolk DA Rollins nominated for U.S. attorney in Massachusetts

Massachusetts

FILE — In this June 26, 2018, file photo, then-Suffolk County District Attorney Democratic candidate Rachael Rollins addresses an audience in Boston. Rollins, who has led the Suffolk County district attorneys office since 2019 as the first woman of color to serve as a district attorney in Massachusetts, is being nominated by President Joe Biden to become the state’s top federal prosecutor. If confirmed by the U.S. Senate, Rollins would become the first Black woman to serve as U.S. attorney for Massachusetts. (AP Photo/Steven Senne, File)

BOSTON (WWLP)- The next person to fill the seat of U.S. Attorney of Massachusetts, if confirmed by the U.S. Senate, may also be the first Black woman to hold the position.

Rachael Rollins, who has been the Suffolk County District Attorney since 2019, was picked by President Joe Biden to replace Andrew Lelling, who resigned in February 2021 to work for a private law firm in Boston. Senators Ed Markey and Elizabeth Warren had recommended Rollins for the job.

Rollins’ released a statement that she is “incredibly humbled” by the nomination and “remains focused on doing the hard work of keeping the residents of Suffolk County safe.”

As Suffolk DA Rollins has played a direct role in criminal justice reform with a focus on addressing the social issues that lead to crime. She also worked to vacate drug convictions for potentially tens of thousands of defendants whose cases are tied to a troubled former state drug testing lab where two chemists were convicted of tampering with evidence. 

According to a statement from the White House, Rollins is one of eight nominees selected to serve as U.S. Attorneys. “These individuals, many of whom are historic firsts, were chosen for their devotion to enforcing the law, their professionalism, their experience and credentials in this field, their dedication to pursuing equal justice for all, and their commitment to the independence of the Department of Justice,” the White House said.

Rollins, who used to work as an assistant U.S. attorney in Massachusetts, would be just the second woman to head the state’s federal prosecutors’ office. Carmen Ortiz became the first woman and the first Hispanic to serve as U.S. attorney for Massachusetts in 2009.

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