Politics

Maura Healey defends record on public corruption cases: ‘I have never looked away or stood down’

"There's not been a single case that's come to my office that we haven't taken in this realm."

Jessica Rinaldi
Attorney General Maura Healey. Jessica Rinaldi/Boston Globe
Elections 2022

Days into her campaign for governor, Attorney General Maura Healey defended her record on public corruption cases after a Boston Globe review last month found mixed results for charges her office has leveled for alleged wrongdoing.

Healey, the state’s top prosecutor since 2015, has won over 20 convictions in public malfeasance or corruption cases, according to the Globe.

However, weeks ahead of the Democrat’s formal foray into the gubernatorial race, court records showed “nearly just as often, cases quietly end without guilty verdicts, or are dropped or dismissed,” the newspaper reported.

Under Healey’s tenure, the attorney general’s office has charged over 60 public employees and leaders of nonprofit organizations, although none of the cases have been filed against an elected official, the review found.

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Meanwhile, federal prosecutors over the past seven years have won convictions against three officials and have charged a fourth, the Globe reported.

Healey responded to the Globe report in a recent appearance on GBH’s “Boston Public Radio,” telling co-host Margery Eagan, simply, “Look at my record.”

Healey, 50, has touted a record of taking on powerful interests and government figures, from former President Donald Trump’s administration to opioid manufacturers, and has cast a light on consumer fraud in Massachusetts, Eagan noted.

“You just listed off dozens of prosecutions of political corruption — successful prosecutions — brought by my office,” Healey said during last week’s segment. “I’m proud of that. I have never looked away or stood down in the face of corruption.”

Healey said she believes “so deeply in the need to ensure people’s faith in government” and vowed to continue to chase cases.

“My record will speak for itself,” she continued. “Is it true that there are other prosecutors out there doing more? Absolutely, and I commend that, you know.

“We work closely with our federal partners on any number of fronts, but I’m proud of the record that my office has had when it comes to addressing public corruption and taking that on,” Healey added. “And there’s not been a single case that’s come to my office that we haven’t taken in this realm, and that’s why you’ve seen dozens and dozens of prosecutions.”

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Read the full Boston Globe report.

On climate, Healey vows to be ‘the most aggressive governor in the country’

In her run for the Democratic nod for governor, Healey so far faces two challengers: state Rep. Sonia Chang-Díaz and Harvard professor Danielle Allen, who both launched campaigns earlier last year.

The attorney general, now making the case for her candidacy, doubled down on her focus on jobs and reshaping the Massachusetts economy in the wake of COVID-19 and rising inflation during an interview on WCVB’s “On The Record” on Sunday.

“I think that’s what’s important to voters around the state,” Healey said. “I mean, workforce development, child care, housing prices, the cost of living just generally — these are the things that people care about. They’re the things that people talk to my office about. And they’re things that the governor — the next governor — is going to have to deal with.

“We’ve got a lot of money coming in,” she added. “One of the questions will be how can that money be used, distributed, invested in ways that support an economy where everyone can thrive, where everyone can grow?”

Healey said if the state can’t address its high cost of living and its housing shortage, “we’re not going to be where we need to be.”

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“We also need to deal with child care, which right now is a barrier that’s keeping so many women from returning to the workforce,” Healey said. “So all of these things are incredibly important. So is addressing climate, and I have said that as governor, I will be the most aggressive governor in the country when it comes to combating the climate crisis.”

Healey, even as she is still making clear her agenda for the corner office, entered the race with a sizable sway.

A new poll released by the MassINC Polling Group and Policy For Progress on Monday found Healey has garnered 48 percent of the support from likely Democratic primary voters, with Chang-Díaz gaining 12 percent and Allen trailing at 3 percent.

But there’s obviously a long way until September. Thirty percent of the voters surveyed were still undecided.

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