District Legal professional Rachael Rollins on brief checklist to change into subsequent US Legal professional for the district of Massachusetts

Josh Levy, partner at Ropes & Gray, a law firm in Boston, and former US assistant attorney is also contemplated.

The committee received dozens of applications by December 28, but won the list through interviews. Three of the four are not white candidates. Next to Rollins, who is black, Serafyn is half Cuban – her mother came to the US from Cuba – and Shukla is of Indian descent, someone who has worked with them.

The committee was quick to respond to a request from the new Biden administration to submit top candidates for U.S. attorney and judicial positions by January 19, the day before his inauguration, said Nancy Gertner, the former federal judge who chaired the search committee.

“We acted quickly because the White House lawyer immediately wanted names,” said Gertner. “Democrats under Obama have been criticized for moving so slowly. We worked through the vacation. We made our choices. “

She did not want to comment on individual candidates, but said the panel’s decisions were made prior to the disclosure of an alleged traffic incident at the South Bay Shopping Center that Rollins was involved in. Attorney General Maura Healey is reviewing the Christmas Eve encounter in which a Dorchester woman accused Rollins of threatening her in the mall parking lot, activating her blue lights and siren, and then blowing a red light to get out of the mall .

Days later, when a news crew from Boston turned up at Rollins’ 25 later to ask about the incident, they launched an explosive tirade and threatened to file a police report against the producer.

“I swear to God – I’m dead serious. I will find your name I’ll have you arrested, I swear to god. My kids! ”Rollins said on videotape.

Prior to the controversy, she was described as a front runner by people familiar with the selection process. Later in the week, some of these people insisted that she had no advantage over the other candidates.

Rollins would not comment on her interest in the US attorney’s work. Markey and Warren spokespersons did not respond to requests for comment. The other finalists could either not be reached or they declined to comment.

Incoming White House attorney Dana Remus asked the Senators to submit at least three finalists for the US attorney “as soon as possible and no later than Jan. 19”. Remus also asked for at least three finalists for the U.S. Marshal and the U.S. District Court judge.

Remus wrote in a December 22nd letter that the Biden administration is looking for “talented individuals who bring a wide range of life and professional experiences to these critically important roles, including those based on race, ethnicity, national origin , Gender and sexuality are based on orientation, gender identity, religion, veteran status and disability. “”

Although the process is fast, there are a few steps that must be taken before a U.S. attorney can take office. The Department of Justice interviews the applicant, who also has to undergo an FBI background check.

The president finally appoints the successful candidate, who must be approved by the Senate.

The candidate would succeed Andrew Lelling, who has served as a U.S. attorney since 2017 and has built a reputation for being ready to serve powerful interests, including state police officers who had been filling up their overtime for years, and Parents Who Paid Others to Help Their Children Enter Colleges in the Varsity Blues Scandal.

Lelling, who was appointed by President Trump, has told others he was considering running for public office after his appointment expires.

Rollins was elected district attorney in 2018 and proposed four other candidates, including a longtime district attorney who was supported by the police and the outgoing district attorney.

She was the first black woman to hold the job, and came into office with a reform agenda that included reduced petty criminal prosecution and readiness, unlawful convictions, and laboratory-test convictions of disgraced former state chemists Annie Dookhan and Sonja repeal Farak.

But she has also angered many Boston police officers who believe she has undermined their efforts by failing to prosecute or detain dangerous criminals. Her predilection for blunt public utterance sometimes contradicted other prosecutors and public defenders whom she once criticized as mostly white privileged lawyers who did not work hard for their clients.

The other finalists have different backgrounds.

Shukla has worked on several serious criminal cases in western Massachusetts, including that of Gregg Bigda, a detective accused of handcuffing teenagers and trying to equip them for drug crimes. His trial is still pending.

She also prosecuted Christopher Roeder, a former Hadley police officer who was found guilty of excessive use of force in 2017 by breaking a prisoner’s nose.

Levy is co-chair of the global litigation and enforcement practice group at Ropes & Gray. He has served as a prosecutor in the Middlesex District Attorney’s Office and in the US Attorney’s Economic Crimes Division.

As a federal attorney, he worked on a kickback case against a national medical utility company, Fresenius, and helped win a record $ 486 million severance pay.

More recently, he represented defendants in federal court, including an attorney, Gordon Caplan, who was sentenced to one month in prison for paying $ 75,000 to improve his daughter’s score on a college admission test.

Serafyn has handled civil rights cases for the U.S. attorney and won civil cases against restaurants that failed to take adequate safeguards under the Federal Americans with Disabilities Act. She also won a settlement from the City of Somerville on behalf of a firefighter who was not hired in a position high enough when he returned from nearly a decade of overseas naval assignments.

She was named head of the civil rights department when she was founded in 2016 by US attorney Carmen Ortiz “to protect the rights of the most vulnerable and underserved members of the community.”

If Rollins is appointed U.S. attorney, Governor Charlie Baker would appoint a successor to serve for the remainder of her term, which expires in 2022.

Andrea Estes can be reached at [email protected].

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