BOSTON (CBS) – U.S Attorney for Massachusetts Carmen Ortiz announced Wednesday that she will be resigning from her role, effective next month.
Ortiz will step down on Friday, Jan. 13. As she departs, Ortiz leaves behind a trailblazing record.
Ortiz’s resignation comes just after the Presidential election. Given that President-elect Donald Trump will have the power to name U.S. attorneys, Ortiz’s departure is not a shock but she says regardless of the election, it was time for her to go.
“Even if the election results had been different, I feel for me, given that I’ve been here 19 years, it’s time for a new challenge,” Ortiz told WBZ-TV’s Jim Smith.
Among the cases Ortiz prosecuted was the Boston Marathon bombing trial, which resulted in a death sentence for Dzhokhar Tsarnaev, and infamous Boston gangster Whitey Bulger’s trial.
“I felt very fortunate to be able to have played a role in those prosecutions and oversee the trial teams, have the opportunity to work with my folks and really also, more importantly, dealing with the survivors and victims of those cases,” she said.
For 12 years, Ortiz prosecuted white-collar crime before she was nominated to U.S. Attorney in 2009. She was a federal prosecutor for 19 years in the U.S. Attorney’s office.
Ortiz was the first woman and the first Hispanic to serve as Massachusetts U.S. Attorney, of which she says she’s proud.
“I did smash that glass ceiling and I’ll tell you, I’m really proud of that fact,” Ortiz said. “I’ve gone out to speak to a lot of different audiences from young kids, especially inner-city, and women. I think they see in me something they can achieve as well.”
“I have been honored to serve the people of Massachusetts as U.S. Attorney and to have been part of this administration,” said Ortiz in a statement.
“It has been a privilege to work alongside some of the most talented professionals in the Department of Justice. Together we prosecuted many significant cases that have resonated around the nation. While I am excited about the future and look forward to embracing new challenges, I will miss participating in the important work this office is involved with on a daily basis.”