District Attorney Kevin R. Hayden announced the formation of a Community Advisory Committee to assist in the evaluation of the District Attorney’s Office, its bureaus, units, and supervisory functions, and examination of the impact of key SCDAO policies.
“Community engagement will be the cornerstone of everything my administration does. I am delighted to have such a sterling group help review procedures and policies and make recommendations so that the Office will continue to be a guiding force in legal strategy and reform,’’ Hayden said. “Community input is critical to building trust in this office. This process is focused on structures, functions, and results. I believe the staff here is filled with professional, talented individuals dedicated to serving the people of Boston, Chelsea, Revere and Winthrop. It will be important to have outside leaders and specialists who live, work and worship in Suffolk County provide their point of view as we move forward.’’
The volunteer committee of 18 will be co-chaired by Robert Gittens and Reverend Dr. Ray Hammond and will begin its work immediately.
Gittens is passionate about the welfare of children and families and has spent his career serving the public including as Commissioner of the Department of Youth Services, Secretary of Health and Human Services, and Vice President for Public Affairs at Northeastern and First Assistant District Attorney in the Suffolk County District Attorney’s Office. He previously played a distinguished role in the community as Chairman of the Massachusetts Juvenile Justice Advisory Committee. He currently serves on the boards of the Children’s League of Massachusetts, the Massachusetts Nonprofit Network and Commonwealth Care Alliance, and is the executive director for Cambridge Family and Children’s Service.
Hammond co-founded Bethel A.M.E. Church with his wife, Gloria, and is the co-founder and chairman of the Ten Point Coalition, an ecumenical group of Christian clergy and lay leaders mobilizing the Greater Boston community around issues affecting Black and Latino youth, and an Executive Committee member of the Black Ministerial Alliance. He also serves as a trustee on many institutions, including the Yawkey Foundation, BMC Health System, the John F. Kennedy Library Foundation, and the MATCH School. He previously served as chairman of The Boston Foundation. Rev. Hammond is a Fellow of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences and is the recipient of numerous honors and honorary doctorates.
Other members are:
• True-see Allah is the Director of Reentry at the Executive Office of Public Safety and Security for the State of Massachusetts and brings the lived experience of a returning citizen to the committee.
• Daniel Bennett, a CEO of companies in the private sector including Liberty Forensics and a former Secretary of the Executive of Public Safety and Security who oversaw significant reforms at Bridgewater State Hospital and First Assistant of the Worcester County District Attorney’s Office;
• Jim Borghesani, a communications executive who oversaw communications strategy for the successful 2016 ballot initiative to legalize marijuana, he has held several top communication positions in state government;
• Andrea Cabral, a former Secretary of the Executive Office of Public Safety and Security, and twice elected Sheriff of Suffolk County, and was Chief of the District Courts at SCDAO; she is currently CEO of a multi-state cannabis company;
• J.W. Carney, Jr., is a renowned criminal defense attorney who began his career as a public defender and is a contributing author to the treatises on Massachusetts Criminal Practice and has been listed in The Best Lawyers in America since 1998. Carney also has been a member of the Massachusetts Judicial Nominating Commission for 20 years;
• George Hardiman is an attorney with more than 25 years’ experience, he was a prosecutor in SCDAO and also litigated securities fraud cases for the Secretary of State’s office. He has been in private practice for almost 18 years.
• Lisa Howard is the Superintendent of Winthrop Public Schools and a past board member of the Massachusetts Administrators for Special Education, she is a lifelong resident of Winthrop;
• Nancy Hurley is an attorney focused on criminal defense and a member of the board of Suffolk Lawyers for Justice;
• Byron Knight, a former Suffolk ADA who joined the Patrick Administration as special counsel to assist in providing discovery with all parties affected by the Hinton Lab drug scandal and later served a Deputy Legal Counsel for Governor Deval Patrick, is a lawyer with a focus on criminal defense;
• Sandra M. McCroom is president and CEO of Children’s Services of Roxbury, which provides comprehensive childcare services to economically disadvantaged families and previously served as for Criminal Justice in the Executive Office of Public Safety and Security;
• Kristen Palma is a former victim witness advocate at SCDAO who became public affairs director of the Massachusetts Office for Victim Assistance;
• Kourou Pich is executive director of HarborCOV, which provides services and opportunities that promote long-term stability for people affected by violence and abuse, she began work there in 1998 as the Cambodian advocate. Kourou has served as a consultant for the Women of Color Network since 2011;
• Paul Popeo is co-chair of Choate’s litigation department who has served as a special assistant attorney general and special Suffolk ADA;
• Pastor B. Christopher Sumner is chief of operations executive at the Salvation Army Ray & Joan Kroc Community Center of Boston and associate Pastor at Jubilee Christian Church. Previously he’s served as Executive Director of the Boston Ten Point Coalition the Blue Hill Boys and Girls Club of Boston;
• Marjorie Pauléon Tynes, an attorney and former Suffolk ADA and victim witness advocate, is a member of teaching team at Harvard’s Trial Advocacy Workshop;
• Gladys Vega is executive director of Chelsea’s La Colaborativa, who played leadership roles in organizing for immigrants’ rights, welfare rights, tenants’ rights, open space and the environment, multicultural and anti-racism programs and in numerous grassroots campaigns.
Suffolk County District Attorney Kevin Hayden’s office serves the communities of Boston, Chelsea, Revere, and Winthrop, Mass. The office handles some 20,000 cases a year. More than 160 attorneys in the office practice in nine district and municipal courts, Suffolk Superior Court, the Massachusetts Appeals Court, the Supreme Judicial Court, and the Boston Juvenile Courts. The office employs some 300 people and offers a wide range of services and programs to serve anyone who comes in contact with the criminal justice system. This office is committed to educating the public about the services we provide, our commitment to crime prevention, and our dedication to keeping the residents of Suffolk County safe.