Dartmouth native Quinn sworn in as DA
From The Herald News
By Phil Devitt
March 4, 2015
The new district attorney of Bristol County glanced at the new governor of Massachusetts and, from the podium, made an assumption.
“Charlie Baker got sick of hearing the name Tom Quinn,” he said. “I’m certain.”
If that’s true, Baker had a funny way of showing it.
After hearing Quinn’s name from politicians, police officers, community activists, clergymen and residents, he appointed the Dartmouth native to head the district attorney’s office, one of his first orders of business as governor.
Former Gov. Deval Patrick had previously named Quinn acting district attorney after Sam Sutter resigned to become mayor of Fall River late last year.
“The overwhelming message we got back is that people thought Tom Quinn was the right man for the job,” Baker said during Quinn’s Feb. 25 inaugural ceremony at Bishop Connolly High School in Fall River. “That made it, frankly, a pretty easy decision for us. It was very important to us that we not make a mistake here so early in a nascent administration.”
Quinn, a Dartmouth native, is a longtime prosecutor who will lead the office with his legal knowledge, faith and “just do it” mantra.
After Baker administered the oath of office, and a minute-long standing ovation, Quinn thanked his supporters for helping him become district attorney.
“We all know the song, ‘I Get By With a Little Help From My Friends,'” he said. “Well, I got by and got in with a lot of help from my friends, and I’ll be eternally grateful for that.”
In a brief speech, Quinn vowed to steer a “community-wide” effort to fight crime, focusing on partnerships with police departments, legislators and agencies. He noted the work, in particular, of the Children’s Advocacy Center of Bristol County, a Fall River-based nonprofit that helps young victims of sexual abuse.
He said he believes the district attorney’s office has earned the trust of Bristol County residents and he vowed to manage in an “effective and efficient manner” to maintain that trust.
Lt. Gov. Karyn Polito pledged to work with Quinn to fight the local opiate addiction epidemic “with a vengeance.”
Polito, who helped Baker make the decision, said she was convinced Quinn was the perfect fit for the job.
“What struck me the most was his interest in building a team,” she said. “This wasn’t about him.”
Deputy District Attorney Bill McCauley, one of six people sworn in to Quinn’s leadership team, called Quinn the “ultimate professional,” a role model and mentor.
“Doing what’s right has always been something Tom Quinn knows how to do,” he said. “He’s been a man in motion his whole life, motivated by service. I’m proud to be a part of his team.”
Quinn, joined by his wife, children and other family members at the ceremony, ended his remarks the way he began them: with appreciation for his friends and colleagues.
“My theme is ‘Just do it,'” he said. “Well, they just did it for me.”