Parole Board Chief Confirmed For Superior Court Judgeship

Parole Board Chairman Josh Wall survived a tough confirmation battle Wednesday as the Governor's Council voted 5-3 to award him a seat on the Superior Court.

Wall's confirmation means Gov. Deval Patrick will get to nominate a new Parole Board member and further influence a board that he shook up after parolee Dominic Cinelli shot and killed a Woburn police officer.

Joshua Wall, during a 2008 trial in Boston (Ted Fitzgerald/AP, Pool)
Joshua Wall, during a 2008 trial in Boston (Ted Fitzgerald/AP, Pool)

Wall's confirmation hearing ran for three days and drew scores of supporters and opponents of the former Suffolk County prosecutor.

Councilors Terrence Kennedy, Eileen Duff, Marilyn Devaney, Oliver Cipollini and Christopher Iannella voted for Wall. Councilors Jennie Caissie, Robert Jubinville and Michael Albano voted against Wall.

A polarizing figure, Wall's nomination appeared in jeopardy after he was forced to fend off criticism about his professional demeanor, his tenure on the Parole Board, and a "win at all costs" attitude while working as a prosecutor.

"I have never witnessed such character assassination," Devaney said before the vote.

Caissie said she was contacted by some of Wall's former colleagues who said he does not have the right judicial temperament. Caissie said she could not "in good conscience support this nomination." She said, "I keep coming back to the word arrogance."

Caissie said she voted in favor of Wall twice to be the chairman of the Parole Board, but said the temperament it takes to be a judge is different. "Once you put a black robe on a person, they don't become less arrogant," Caissie said.

Jubinville said he took seriously the accusations against Wall's professional demeanor. "To suggest this is some sort of conspiracy, probably doesn't hold water; a lot of these people didn't know each other," Jubinville said before the vote.

Andy Metzger contributed reporting


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