Kevin Hayden to replace Rachael Rollins as Suffolk County district attorney, Gov. Charlie Baker announces


Kevin R. Hayden, the chairman of the Massachusetts Sex Offender Registry Board, is Gov. Charlie Baker’s pick for the next Suffolk County district attorney.

Hayden will be appointed to the post on Monday, the same day that the outgoing district attorney, Rachael Rollins, is sworn in as US Attorney for Massachusetts, Baker announced Thursday afternoon. Rollins will be the first Black woman to serve as the state’s top prosecutor.

Baker’s office touted Hayden’s 25 years of legal experience, including more than a decade at the Suffolk County District Attorney’s Office. Helming the office’s Safe Neighborhood Initiative Unit, he worked on violence prevention program for at-risk youth, coordinating with local, state and federal entities.

“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. “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.”

Lt. Gov. Karyn Polito also praised Rollins for her service and wished her luck at US Attorney.

On Dec. 8, hours after the Senate narrowly confirmed Rollins, Baker told reporters he’d be announcing his appointee “shortly.” At the time, Baker said, his administration was considering a “handful” of “very qualified people” to fill Rollins’ vacancy. The governor decline to disclose any names.

Hayden, in a statement Thursday, called his appointment by Baker a “distinct honor and privilege.”

“Over the years it has remained the desire of my heart to serve and protect our many diverse communities,” Hayden said, noting his career as a prosecutor began in Suffolk County. “I look forward to working faithfully with the office’s talented professionals, officials and community leaders, and with and for all the dedicated people of Suffolk County. With unwavering and compassionate commitment I know it will be Suffolk County’s continued legacy to shine as a beacon in the fields of public safety and criminal justice.”

Hayden will serve as in his interim role until a new Suffolk County district attorney is sworn in following the November 2022 election, Baker’s office said. Hayden has a law degree from Boston University School of Law.

“Through his years of experience serving the Commonwealth and its residents, and his active engagement in important initiatives to better the Greater Boston community, Kevin Hayden is well-suited to serve as Suffolk County District Attorney,” Polito said in a statement.

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