It’s official: Quinn sworn in as Bristol County DA

From The Standard Times
By Kevin P. O’Connor, Herald News writer
February 26, 2015

Thomas M. Quinn III, a career prosecutor with a gravelly voice and the eyes of a cop, was sworn in Wednesday as the chief law enforcement officer of Bristol County.

He replaces Sam Sutter, who was elected Fall River mayor in December.

Quinn was Sutter’s first assistant and although he was a full-time administrator for the past eight years, he could frequently be found stepping into courtrooms to argue motions and represent the prosecution in hearings to move cases forward. He now takes over running the 180-person office of the Bristol County District Attorney.

Gov. Charlie Baker, who gave the oath of office to Quinn, said appointing Quinn was one of his first duties as governor. He said he believes he heard from at least half of Bristol County’s defense lawyers, prosecutors, clergy and police officers, all of them supporting Quinn’s appointment.

“I’m sure that, during the end of December and early January, Gov. Baker got sick of hearing the name Tom Quinn,” Quinn said. Baker got a laugh by nodding. “But it worked. I’m here.

“I guess it’s like sausage. I like sausage, but you don’t want to see how it is made. But in the end, it is good.”
All of Quinn’s staff was at the ceremony Wednesday in the auditorium at Bishop Connolly High School, including William McCauley and Patrick Bomberg, the prosecutors in the Aaron Hernandez murder case now underway.

Both men were also promoted Wednesday, McCauley to deputy district attorney and Bomberg to first assistant district attorney.
McCauley said he got to know Quinn when they began working together as prosecutors eight years ago. He said he noticed immediately that Quinn’s shirts were almost always untucked.

“He was in constant motion,” McCauley said. “You just couldn’t stop him. We talked in the office about coming up with an invention to keep his shirt tucked in.”

Besides McCauley and Bomberg, Quinn also promoted Karen O’Sullivan to first assistant district attorney, Jennifer St. Laurent Sowa to deputy chief of superior court, Dennis Collins to chief of the homicide division and Katie Rayburn to deputy chief of homicide.

He was raised in a religious household and that will guide him as district attorney, Quinn said, It showed in the ceremony Wednesday. There were seats reserved for clergy in the auditorium. The scriptures were cited at the beginning and end of the program, with the Rev. Robert Lawrence explaining the spiritual nature of the law during his invocation. Fall River Diocese Bishop Edgar M. da Cunha, gave the benediction. He spoke about the Book of Wisdom and the request to God by Solomon for fairness.

Quinn said he hopes to work with the county’s representatives and senators during the next two years to strengthen laws allowing judges to revoke bail for offenders and also to give law enforcement greater leeway when asking the court for permission to use wire taps.

He also wants to strengthen the teams in his office that prosecute cases of domestic abuse and cases of physical or sexual abuse of children.

“I truly care about the citizens of Bristol County and want them to feel safe in their homes and neighborhoods,” he said.

Original article: http://www.southcoasttoday.com/article/20150225/NEWS/150229575