Gov. Deval Patrick has named state Rep. Peter Koutoujian as the new Middlesex County sheriff following the suicide last year of former Sheriff James DiPaola.
An administration official told the Associated Press that Patrick has tapped the Waltham Democrat in part because of his background as a former Middlesex County prosecutor from 1991 to 1995.
Patrick made the announcement during a news conference Friday.
"He has experience in nearly every dimension of our legal system," the governor said, "as a prosecutor, as a former lecturer at the Massachusetts School of Law and as a lawmaker."
Police say DiPaola killed himself with a single gunshot to the head after checking into a Wells, Maine, hotel in November. He had been the subject of a front-page Boston Globe story reporting that he planned to both collect his salary and a nearly $100,000 annual pension.
Koutoujian will serve until the next statewide election in 2012.
This program aired on January 14, 2011. The audio for this program is not available.