Massachusetts’ top federal prosecutor will be remembered for some high profile cases, including the convictions of former House speaker Sal DiMasi and Boston Marathon bomber Dzhokhar Tsarnaev. U.S. Attorney Carmen Ortiz, who announced her resignation Wednesday, will also be remembered for a less visible initiative.
Sudha Setty, a law professor at Western New England University, said Ortiz has been active in building better relationships between law enforcement and the Muslim, Sikh and Arab communities across the Bay State.
“It has allowed for the fostering of some trust among these communities when there have been civil rights violations or rhetoric that involves Islamophobia or other things that the US Attorney’s office can take a stand on. I think she’s done a really nice job with that,” said Setty.
Ortiz has been criticized for prosecutorial overreach. Earlier this week, a federal appeals court threw out criminal patronage convictions of the state’s former probation commissioner and two deputies, saying their actions did not rise to the level of a federal crime.