Statement of Councillor Marilyn Petitto Devaney on the appointment of Joseph F. Leighton Jr. to the Superior Court- March 30, 2016

Joseph Leighton Jr is an honest man- a good person.  I commend Attorney Leighton -unlike a previous nominee did not take the easy political route- He and his wife did not make political contributions to a Governor’s Councillor or any other elected official.  He is dedicated to family but I am not charged to vote because someone is a good person.

I have a responsibility to vote for the most qualified, experienced person with the correct demeanor and temperament to be awarded a lifetime position  as a Superior Court judge.

Unfortunately Attorney Leighton does not meet the standards for a Superior Judge.  For 3 basic reasons I will be voting no:

1.   A nominee with only a legal career dedicated to civil insurance cases- no criminal- does not meet the standards of a Superior Court judge. The bar should not be lowered.

2.   Attorney Leighton has 0 experience in criminal law.  He has not demonstrated sufficient proactive effort to learn more regarding criminal law in preparation for this position.

3.   Although Attorney Leighton appears sensitive to drug addiction, he has not provided experience with it.

I find no joy in voting “no” -it is not always popular to do the right thing, I must do the right thing representing the citizens of Massachusetts. I will be voting no.

Respectfully submitted,