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Patty Campatelli sworn in as Suffolk County register of probate

Posted by Jeremy C. Fox  January 3, 2013 08:02 AM

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(Jeremy C. Fox for Boston.com)

Paula M. Carey, chief justice of the Suffolk Probate and Family Court, swore in new Register of Probate Patricia Campatelli on Jan. 2.

Patricia “Patty” Campatelli, the new Suffolk County register of probate, was sworn in at a packed ceremony at the Edward W. Brooke Courthouse on Wednesday.

About 100 supporters joined with judges and staff of the Suffolk Probate and Family Court to fill a third-floor courtroom in the downtown courthouse for a short, informal ceremony to welcome Campatelli to her new office.

Paula M. Carey, chief justice of the court, swore Campatelli in after brief remarks in which she discussed the new register’s successful grassroots campaign and the responsibilities of the court.

“We say in the Probate and Family Court we generally deal with good people at their worst,” Carey said. “So people that just are having trouble emotionally, financially, and in every other way that you can possibly imagine.”

Campatelli, a Democrat from East Boston who had never before run for public office, sailed to victory in November’s general election with no Republican opposition. But first she had to pull out a surprise victory over Boston City Councilor Salvatore LaMattina in the September primary, besting the higher-profile candidate by just 633 votes in the final tally.

Campatelli, 48, worked as a substitute teacher and then as a youth worker with at-risk teens before moving on to several positions in the Suffolk County Sheriff’s Department and the state Office of Community Corrections, earning a master’s degree in crime and justice at Suffolk University.

Surrounded by friends and family, Campatelli thanked her supporters on Wednesday for helping her to get through a difficult year in 2012. Campatelli lost her mother, to whom she was devoted, during her campaign and was accused at one point of making offensive postings on social media, which she denied.

“I’m just happy to be amongst friends,” she said. “I’m really looking forward to a new year and really working with everyone. Everyone I’ve met so far has just been incredible, and I can’t thank you enough.”

Theresa Cansler, Campatelli’s sister, had flown in from her home in Valencia, Calif., for the ceremony. Fighting back tears, Cansler said she was proud of her sister but saddened that their mother couldn’t be there to celebrate.

“She’s always worked with the community, even when she was a kid,” Cansler said of Campatelli. “She worked really hard to get here, and I think the people of Suffolk County are lucky to have her.”

Anne Manning-Martin, a Peabody city councilor who has known Campatelli since they worked together at the Suffolk County Sheriff’s Department in the mid-1990s, said she was happy Campatelli would have a fresh start in 2013.

“We’re looking forward to her doing a stand-up job as the new register,” Manning-Martin said.

Email Jeremy C. Fox at jeremy.fox@globe.com.
Follow Jeremy C. Fox on Twitter: @jeremycfox.
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Campatelli supporters.jpg

(Jeremy C. Fox for Boston.com)

About 100 supporters turned out for the swearing-in ceremony at the Edward W. Brooke Courthouse on Wednesday.

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