Middlesex DA Leone to step down, join Boston law firm

Middlesex District Attorney Gerard T. Leone plans to resign his prosecutor’s role next month to take a job with the Boston law firm Nixon Peabody, the firm announced today.

Leone, who had previously said he would not seek a third term and last month ruled out a run for the open US Senate seat, will join former senator Scott Brown, who announced last week that he would be working for the firm, focusing on financial services and commercial real estate.

“After dedicating myself to protecting and serving others and impacting lives in public service for the last twenty years, I’m excited about the opportunity to take on new challenges and provide service to others in a different capacity,” Leone said in a statement issued by the firm.

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The Middlesex prosecutor’s post has long been a feeder for higher office. Three consecutive state attorneys general – Scott Harshbarger, Thomas Reilly, and Martha Coakley – held the post.

Leone’s departure, effective April 29, would open a coveted job. Governor Deval Patrick will appoint his replacement.

Leone had previously said he would not run for re-election in 2014, and any appointee seeking election to the post would need to run next year.

“Gerry has earned the respect of law enforcement, businesses, community leaders, and the defense bar for his work as an effective and ethical prosecutor and leader,” said David Vicinanzo, head of the firm’s government investigations and white collar defense practice. “He has an impressive track record in white collar and complex cases. Gerry’s insight and experience in prosecuting and supervising these types of cases will be enormously beneficial to our clients.”

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