BOSTON (State House News Service) – Gov. Charlie Baker and Lt. Gov. Karyn Polito have tapped the lone Republican on the Governor’s Council to serve as clerk magistrate of Dudley District Court and she will appear before her fellow councilors next week for a confirmation hearing.
Jennie Caissie of Oxford has been a member of the body that vets and confirms the governor’s judicial nominees since 2011 and was among a group of Central Massachusetts Republicans who were on hand to support Polito, a Shrewsbury resident, when she and Baker first began to run as a ticket in 2013.
The nomination was announced at the end of Wednesday’s Governor’s Council meeting, which Caissie, an attorney, did not attend.
“You’ll notice that she is not present today, she has decided that since she is nominated it would not be appropriate for her to physically be here,” Polito told the council. “She also asked me to inform you that if confirmed she will submit her resignation from the council.”
Like any other nominee, Caissie will get a public confirmation hearing before the Governor’s Council, a meeting that’s scheduled for Wednesday at 10:30 a.m.
By custom, the councilor who represents the nominee’s hometown typically chairs the confirmation hearing but Caissie cannot chair her own hearing.
Instead, the council voted Wednesday to have Councilor Eileen Duff, a Gloucester Democrat, run the hearing.
“There’s a little irony here that the most liberal member of the council is going to be overseeing the hearing for probably the most conservative member,” Duff said.
Rumors of Caissie’s interest in a judgeship or another judicial post have circulated at the State House and in her council district for months.
In May, Worcester Magazine‘s Bill Shaner wrote that “Governor’s Council member Jennie Caissie is apparently in line for the job as the new clerk magistrate of Dudley District Court.”
Caissie graduated magna cum laude from Assumption College in Worcester in 1995 and went on to earn a degree from New England School of Law in 1998 and an MBA from Nichols College in 2000, according to her campaign website.
She has practiced criminal and civil law since 1998 and has worked as a special prosecutor in Worcester County. Her website biography also says Caissie served as a selectman in Oxford from 1997 until 2000 and then again from 2003 to 2013.
The 7th District, which Caissie represents, is largely in central Massachusetts, but also includes the towns of Brimfield, Holland, Monson, Palmer, and Wales in Hampden County, and Ware in Hampshire County.