Cesar Archilla, one of the only surviving members of Gov. Deval Patrick’s Parole Board shakeup two years ago, returned to the Governor’s Council for a confirmation hearing Wednesday – this time for a lifetime appointment as a circuit district court judge.
Archilla is Patrick’s nominee for a circuit slot on the district court in Essex County. In 2011, Patrick appointed Archilla acting chair when the governor accepted the resignations of five of the seven parole board members in the wake of the shooting death of Woburn police officer John Maguire by a paroled career criminal.
Archilla was first appointed to the Parole Board in 2010. Formerly a criminal defense attorney practicing in Salem, Archilla spent six years as a prosecutor in the Essex County District Attorney’s office.
During his confirmation hearing, Rep. Michael Costello (D-Newburyport) said he worked with Archilla in the district attorney’s office, and later opposed him in cases. Costello, who switched to defense law, said it is often too easy for prosecutors to look at a piece of paper and make a determination about someone’s future. Archilla never did that, he said.
As a defense attorney, “you wanted to be before Cesar because you knew you were in front of a reasonable person,” Costello told members of the Governor’s Council.
Attorney John Andrews, a partner at the firm Andrews & Updegraph in Salem, said he stole Archilla away from the district attorney’s office because he saw something in him - “an ability to look at each case individually,” he said.
Archilla, a Swampscott resident, earned his bachelor’s degree from Atlantic Union College in 1986 and his law degree from Suffolk University Law School in 1998.