Politics

Elizabeth Warren, Ed Markey, Ayanna Pressley, Mayor Michelle Wu rescind endorsements of Ricardo Arroyo for D.A.

"Whoever is elected will have significant work to restore the trust of our residents," Michelle Wu said.

Boston Mayor Michelle Wu hugs Boston City Councilor Ricardo Arroyo, who is running to be Suffolk County district attorney, at his campaign office opening in Jamaica Plain, July 9, 2022. Jonathan Wiggs / The Boston Globe, File
Ricardo Arroyo:

Boston Mayor Michelle Wu, Congresswoman Ayanna Pressley, and U.S. senators Elizabeth Warren and Ed Markey on Wednesday all rescinded their endorsements of Boston City Councilor Ricardo Arroyo in the Democratic primary for Suffolk County district attorney.

The moves are perhaps the largest political losses for Arroyo’s campaign, as the 34-year-old candidate tries to weather controversy spurred by a Boston Globe report that found he was investigated twice — though never charged — for two possible sexual assaults as a teenager.

Arroyo has repeatedly denied any wrongdoing and has said he was unaware of the investigations until he was approached by the Globe this month.

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The wave of rescinded support Wednesday came after the woman involved in the first case in 2005 stood spoke out and stood by her allegations in another Globe story published on Tuesday evening.

“It makes me feel sick, sick to my stomach,” the woman told the Globe. “I see so many people continuing to endorse him without finding out more. As the potential DA, women are not going to feel safe calling his office. Their cases won’t get heard … All those people will be afraid to come forward.”

The woman in the case from 2007, via an attorney, recently said Arroyo “never assaulted” her, though. Her initial allegations involved her belief at that time that Arroyo might have raped her at a party.

Arroyo is seeking the Democratic nomination for district attorney against interim District Attorney Kevin Hayden in the Sept. 6 primary.

Warren and Markey rolled back their Arroyo endorsements in a joint statement, while Wu posted a lengthy statement of her own on social media.

Pressley posted a statement on Twitter on Wednesday afternoon.

“For the District Attorney to advance the reforms our communities deserve, the office must have our communities’ trust and confidence,” Wu said in her statement. “I can no longer make a public recommendation for a candidate for this office.”

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All four progressive lawmakers have been criticized in recent days for how their continued support of Arroyo, following the initial Globe report, appeared to be at odds with their spoken values.

Here’s what Wu said:

With less than a week until Election day and tens of thousands of votes already having been cast, I’m disheartened at the turmoil that has consumed the race for Suffolk County District Attorney.

Weeks before the election, incomplete Boston Police files naming Ricardo Arroyo and emails from unknown sources were leaked in violation of state law and reported on in the media. The timing of the release and the fact that some documents were purposely withheld suggest this was a politically motivated leak, which is relevant because the Suffolk County District Attorney’s office conducted their own investigations, has their own set of these files, and also made the determination to close the cases over 15 years ago with a finding by their office that no crime had been committed.

The allegations by someone who was a minor at the time are deeply troubling to me, as is newly reported information on anonymous threats she received in the past. For the District Attorney to advance the reforms our communities deserve, the office must have our communities’ trust and confidence. I can no longer make a public recommendation for a candidate for this office.

This statement should not be taken as a tacit endorsement to vote for Kevin Hayden for District Attorney. I continue to have serious concerns about Mr. Hayden’s judgment in prosecuting cases, his handling of media scrutiny of pending cases, and his conduct in office.

I have great respect for our democratic system and trust that each voter will make this choice using their best judgment. Whoever is elected will have significant work to restore the trust of our residents.

Here’s what Warren and Markey said:

“The accusations in this case are serious, and in light of the latest victim statements reported in Tuesday evening’s Boston Globe, we have notified the campaign that we are rescinding our endorsement of Ricardo Arroyo for District Attorney.”

Here’s what Pressley said:

The events of the past two weeks have caused renewed trauma for all involved and deeply eroded public trust in our candidates for Suffolk County District Attorney. As a result, I am no longer endorsing in this race.

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