Meet Carmen Ortiz
By Steve Bagley | October 2, 2009 4:14 pm

Carmen Ortiz (Adelphi Univ.)

Carmen Ortiz (Adelphi Univ.)

The Senate Judiciary Committee today released its questionnaire on Carmen Ortiz (Adelphi University, George Washington University Law School), nominated to replace Michael J. Sullivan as U.S. Attorney in Massachusetts. Sullivan resigned April 19 to join The Ashcroft Group.

Her vitals:

  • Born in New York City in 1956.
  • Has served as an Assistant U.S. Attorney in Massachusetts since 1997.
  • Was a senior trial attorney at the Quincy, Mass., law firm Morisi & Associates, P.C. from 1994 to 1997.
  • Taught at the Northeastern University School of Law in Boston, Mass. in 1995.
  • Was on the board of directors of Cambridge-based Cambridge and Somerville Legal Services from 1993 to 1996.
  • Was a member of the board of directors of the Massachusetts Association of Hispanic Attorneys from 1992 to 1994.
  • Worked on Senate Foreign Relations Committee in 1992 .
  • Worked in the Middlesex County, Mass. district attorney’’s office as an Assitant District Attorney from 1983 to 1988 and again from 1991 – 1994. She also was the director of district courts from 1992 to 1994 and the director of training from 1991 to 1992.
  • Was a program coordinator at Harvard Law School’s Center for Criminal Justice from 1988 to 1991.
  • Worked at the now-defunct Braintree, Mass., law office Marinelli & Morisi from 1988 to 1989.
  • Worked in the Justice Department’s Criminal Division as a trial attorney 1981 to 1983.
  • Was a summer intern in DOJ’s Public Integrity Section in 1980.
  • Has tried an estimated 150 cases to verdict, 36 percent of which were jury trials.
  • Worked for the National Football League as an investigator in 1990.
  • Was a hostess at Quincy’s Restaurant in Arlington, Va., from 1981 to 1982.
  • Worked at the Ortiz gift shop in Brooklyn, N.Y., from 1974 to 1978.

Click here for her full questionnaire.

UPDATE: According to her Office of Government Ethics disclosure, Ortiz has numerous funds and stock holdings valued at between $379,025 and $1.52 million. She does not report owning any property or having any debt. On her Senate Judiciary Committee financial disclosure, Ortiz lists assets valued at $2,308,700 and liabilities of $55,100, for a net worth of $2,253,600. She reports $1,117,400 in real estate and has $452,200 in securities.


One Comment

  1. One of U.S. Attorney Carmen Ortiz’s major challenges will be to bring justice to the Roslindale Bomb cases, in which two innocent men were wrongfully convicted in U.S. District Court in 1993.
    Alfred W. Trenkler and Thomas A. Shay had absolutely no involvement whatsoever with the bomb that tragically killed Boston Police Officer Jeremiah Hurley, Jr. on 28 October 1991.
    For more information see the website,, and the 727 page manuscript there for the book, “Perfectly Innocent”.
    Five of Alfred Trenkler’s jurors have written to the trial judge, Hon. Rya Zobel, to disavow their 1993 verdict. Four of them had read “Perfectly Innocent” and the fifth wrote his letter after reading about the letters from the first three jurors in a front page article in the Boston Globe.
    Alfred Trenkler had no motive to harm, let alone kill, the father of his co-defendant, Thomas A. Shay, and he hadn’t seen Shay for two months before the bomb exploded. Alfred Trenkler was an entrepreneur, albeit unconventional, with tens of thousands of dollars in contracts for microwave antenna installation and no debt. He had no need to kill an autobody mechanic for a share of a lost-cause lawsuit verdict. He co-defendant, Thomas A.Shay, loved his father, and had no interest in the lawsuit, which arose from, ironically, a firecracker explosion which hurt his ear as much as his father’s.
    The Office of the U.S. Attorney prosecuted this case in 1992-93 in the hope of assisting the City of Boston with an infamous case. Unfortunately, the prosecutors relied upon incorrect assumptions and upon an unreliable inmate informant.
    Alfred Trenkler is “perfectly innocent” and has waited 17 years for justice. Hopefully, Ms. Carmen Ortiz will help bring that justice, by opening a re-investigation of the case and seeking the truth. Attorney General Eric Holder several new Assistant U.S. Attorneys in April according to an Associated Press article:

    Holder told assistant US attorneys for the District of Columbia that they must respond to negative perceptions of federal prosecutors by doing “the right thing.”

    “Your job as assistant US attorneys is not to convict people,” Holder said. “Your job is not to win cases. Your job is to do justice. Your job is in every case, every decision that you make, to do the right thing. Anybody who asks you to do something other than that is to be ignored. Any policy that is at tension with that is to be questioned and brought to my
    attention. And I mean that.”

    Hopefully, Ms. Ortiz’s handling of the Roslindale Bomb case will meet those high standards.
    Morrison Bonpasse
    Newcastle, ME

    [If interested in this case, please contact me at morrison (at) Alfred's website.]

The Senate Democratic leader describes the Republicans' refusal to hold hearings on President Obama's eventual Supreme Court nominee "historically unbelievable and historically unprecedented."

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