The surprise announcement by Suffolk County District Attorney Dan Conley that he will not be seeking re-election in the fall came as a shock to his constituents in Suffolk County.
For the past 16 years, Dan Conley has held what is perhaps the highest-profile job in the criminal justice system in Massachusetts. Yet despite the glare of publicity and the back-and-forth that inevitably accompanies anyone who is in the public spotlight, Dan Conley has conducted himself in a manner that has been a credit to himself and those whom he has served.
Dan Conley was not merely a prosecutor. He also took a lead role in pushing for reforms that have made our communities safer for everybody. Most notably, he worked to extend the statute of limitations on sex crimes against children, to create a witness protection fund to support victims and witnesses of violent crime, and to draft a safe harbor provision to the Massachusetts human trafficking law that deems those who have been forced to commit crimes as victims, rather than as criminals.
Dan Conley will be the first to admit that his office did not win every battle or attain every conviction. But those on all sides of the political and legal spectrums are nearly-unanimous in their acknowledgment that Dan Conley was as fair as he was determined to ensure that justice was served on behalf of all stake-holders in the prosecutorial process and criminal justice system.
Dan Conley will be missed. We know we join with all of his constituents in Suffolk County in offering him a sincere, “Thank you,” for his years of exemplary service and, “Best wishes,” in his future endeavors.