Democratic Massachusetts Sens. Edward Kennedy and John Kerry recommended that President Obama nominate Carmen M. Ortiz to be the next Massachusetts U.S. Attorney, the senators said in a statement released yesterday.
Ortiz, who has spent a dozen years in the Massachusetts U.S. Attorney’s Office, would be the first Hispanic and woman U.S. Attorney for the state. She would succeed Michael J. Sullivan, who stepped down last month.
“It’s a tremendous challenge, but I think one that I’m prepared to take and I’m prepared to meet,” Ortiz told The Boston Globe. “I feel very grateful, and I’m humbled by the senators’ confidence in me.”
A committee went through more than a dozen candidates for the post, but the senators said Ortiz was a “standout throughout this process.”
” We believe that her prosecutorial experience, commitment to public service, and insight into criminal justice issues will make her an exceptional United States Attorney,” the senators said in the statement. “She has lived the American dream, worked hard for every accomplishment she’s achieved, and will ensure that the U.S. Attorney’s Office for Massachusetts is a leader in our community and around the country.”
Ortiz is not free from controversy, however. The US Court of Appeals for the First Circuit had a man resentenced for defrauding 38,000 people in a telemarketing scheme because Ortiz did not follow through on her promise to propose a lighter sentence, The Globe reported.
The senators’ recommendation also comes as a bit of a surprise, with better known lawyers Michael B. Keating and Martin F. Murphy, both from the Foley Hoag law firm, among the finalists for the position, The Globe said.