Suffolk County District Attorney Fined for Violating Conflict of Interest Law

Suffolk County District Attorney Fined for Violating Conflict of Interest Law

The Suffolk County District Attorney, Kevin Hayden, has been fined for violating a conflict of interest law, as announced by the state Ethics Commission on Thursday. Hayden admitted to the violation and opted not to have a hearing, resulting in a $5,000 civil penalty.

The conflict of interest arose from Hayden’s response to sexual assault allegations against his then-opponent, Ricardo Arroyo, during the 2022 primary race for Suffolk County District Attorney. Arroyo had sued for the release of certain files, which were set to be made public just an hour and a half after Hayden’s office released a press statement discrediting Arroyo.

The statement, widely circulated by the media, claimed that “nothing in the file suggests the allegations were unfounded” and criticized the campaign to undermine the credibility of the victim. The Massachusetts State Ethics Commission found that Hayden was aware of his office’s plan to contradict Arroyo’s claims but did not withdraw the statement.

Hayden’s spokesperson, James Borghesani, stated that he had written the statement without coordination from the District Attorney’s office. Borghesani emphasized that their communications on the matter were cautious and did not reveal any case details, aiming to protect the alleged victims. However, Hayden takes responsibility for his office and remains committed to ensuring justice and public safety for Suffolk County residents.

In response to the Ethics Commission’s decision, Arroyo expressed gratitude for holding Hayden accountable for his “illegal actions.” Arroyo had previously accused Hayden of betraying the public’s trust and misusing the District Attorney’s office to gain an advantage in the campaign.

Hayden ran unopposed in the general election for the top prosecutor position in Suffolk County in 2022 and is currently serving a term that expires in 2026. Arroyo, who represented his brother in a sexual harassment lawsuit in 2023, continued his term as District 5 City Councilor. However, he faced defeat in a primary election for the Boston City Council later that year, marking a significant political setback.

Author: CrimeDoor

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