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Baker taps Sex Offender Registry Board chairman as new Suffolk DA

A former Suffolk County prosecutor who now chairs the Massachusetts Sex Offender Registry Board will serve as the county's district attorney for roughly the next year, Gov. Charlie Baker announced Thursday.

Baker selected SORB Chairman Kevin Hayden to serve out the remainder of Suffolk DA Rachael Rollins's term once she leaves the office to become the next U.S. attorney for Massachusetts.

Hayden will take over as the county's top prosecutor on Monday, when Rollins plans to take the oath of office as U.S. attorney, and will serve until a successor elected on Nov. 8 is sworn in.

Since 2015, Hayden has served as chair of the Sex Offender Registry Board. He previously spent more than a decade in various roles in the Suffolk DA's office, including as chief of the Safe Neighborhood Initiative Unit and as assistant district attorney for the Anti-Gang Unit, the Homicide Response Team, the Juvenile Unit and for the Boston Municipal Court, according to Baker's office.

"Kevin Hayden is a dedicated public servant with a proven record of commitment to equitable justice and community engagement, and I am confident he will serve the families of Suffolk County as a respectful, collaborative and compassionate partner as District Attorney," Baker said in a statement. "A veteran of the District Attorney's Office, where he led the Safe Neighborhood Initiative Unit and devoted himself to leading community-based violence prevention outreach and programming, Chairman Hayden is equipped with the experience and knowledge necessary to serve in this role. I thank District Attorney Rollins for her service and commitment to the people of Suffolk County and look forward to continuing to work with her in her new role as US Attorney."

Rollins weighed in on Baker's choice for her successor Thursday.

"In selecting his appointment for Suffolk County’s top law enforcement official, Governor Baker took great care to choose an individual with subject matter expertise, leadership experience, and a respect for and fluency in the different concerns and needs of each of the neighborhoods that make up Suffolk County," Rollins said in a statement. District Attorney Hayden’s professional experience speaks to his prioritization of serious and violent offenses and addressing the needs of our communities."

CPCS chief counsel Anthony Benedetti said in a statement he hopes Hayden will carry Rollins' work forward.

"It is clear the voters of Suffolk County supported District Attorney Rollins' vision for the criminal legal system, and we appreciate all of the time and effort she spent listening to our ideas during the past few years," Benedetti said. "We look forward to continuing that relationship with DA Hayden, and we hope he carries forward the positive momentum from the Rollins administration."

This article was originally published on January 06, 2022.

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