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The U.S. Senate has confirmed Boston prosecutor Carmen Milagros Ortiz as the first Hispanic and first woman U.S. Attorney for the District of Massachusetts. President Barack Obama nominated Ortiz on Sept. 17. Her Senate confirmation was announced on Nov. 6. “I will work tirelessly on behalf of the Department of Justice to serve with fervor, passion and integrity, answering what I consider to be the greatest calling — public service,” said Ortiz in an official statement. For the past dozen years, Ortiz has been an Assistant U.S. Attorney in Boston, most recently in the economic crimes unit. Ortiz succeeds Michael Sullivan, a President George W. Bush appointee who was confirmed in September 2001 and retired in April Michael Loucks served as Acting U.S. Attorney in the interim. From 1995 through 1997, Ortiz was a litigator at the Braintree, Mass. law firm where her late husband worked, Morisi & Associates. She was previously an assistant district attorney in Middlesex County, Mass. In 1992, the U.S. Senate Committee on Foreign Relations picked her to join the “October Surprise” team to investigate allegations that the campaign of former President Ronald Reagan and his vice president, George H.W. Bush, maneuvered to delay the release of hostages in Iran to influence the 1980 presidential election. Kathy Weinman, a litigation partner at Boston’s Dwyer & Collora who served on a 12-member committee tapped by late U.S. Senator Edward Kennedy, D-Mass., to recommend U.S. Attorney candidates, said the committee recommended Ortiz as thoroughly qualified to handle the job after an “exhaustive review of her experience and abilities.” “Carmen has broad experience as a prosecutor and in private practice as well,” Weinman said. “She’s somebody who really cares about justice and that will make a difference.” Ortiz brings a great array of professional skills, including experience as both a criminal defense lawyer and prosecutor, and life experiences to the job, said committee member Ralph Martin II, who is also the managing partner of Bingham McCutchen‘s Boston office. Martin said he worked with Ortiz in the early to mid 1980s at the Middlesex District Attorney’s Office. “She has a really balanced view of the human condition,” Martin said.

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