Ortiz stepping down early

Ortiz stepping down early

Controversial US Attorney resigning before Trump takes over

STATE HOUSE NEWS SERVICE

U.S. ATTORNEY Carmen Ortiz, the first woman and first Hispanic to serve as the top federal prosecutor in the district of Massachusetts, will leave her post in three weeks, clearing the way for President-elect Donald Trump to name a new U.S. attorney.

Ortiz, in a press release on Wednesday, announced that she had tendered her resignation to President Barack Obama and Attorney General Loretta Lynch and will leave the U.S. Attorney’s office on Jan. 13, a week before Trump’s inauguration. Her resignation marks the end of a 19-year career in the Boston office where she prosecuted white collar crimes for 12 years before Obama nominated her in 2009 to become the U.S. Attorney.

During her time in office, Ortiz won many high profile convictions, including her successful trial of former House Speaker Sal DiMasi on corruption charges, the conviction of former Sen. Dianne Wilkerson on attempted extortion charges, and securing convictions of fugitive mobster James “Whitey” Bulger and the Boston Marathon bomber.

This week, Ortiz had another high profile case reversed after an appellate court ruled her office overreached in charging three former top state Probation Department officials of criminal patronage for rigging the probation hiring system to benefit candidates favored by influential state lawmakers.

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Trump’s nominee for attorney general Sen. Jeff Sessions will likely be in charge of selecting the next U.S. Attorney for Boston. Former U.S. Attorney Frank McNamara recently told the News Service he thought it would be spring before the incoming administration filled the post, but it’s unclear if Ortiz’s departure could speed that process.