MA Lt. Gov. Exaggerates Criminal-Justice Expertise: Paper


As she runs for governor of Massachusetts, Lt. Gov. Kerry Healey has resurrected and even expanded her grandiose claims to criminal-justice expertise originally made during her 2002 campaign, says the Boston Phoenix. Healey's campaign Web site says that she “enjoyed a distinguished career as a law and public safety consultant.” In a press release issued this week, she claims to be a “criminologist and former consultant to the U.S. Department of Justice in the 1990s” who “extensively researched domestic and gang-related violence.” The state's official Web site also says that she has authored four books on criminal justice.

Those “books” are actually co-authored white papers of secondary research (pulling together previous work), written during her 10-year stint as a part-time consultant for Cambridge-based Abt Associates, mostly under an Abt contract with a branch of the Justice Department. She was never a Justice employee or consultant. She has no education or experience that qualifies her as a criminologist. The Phoenix says that “by no definition can her career be called distinguished – her reports are seldom cited, and she was never invited as a speaker or panelist in the field prior to becoming lieutenant governor.” The Phoenix concludes that “while she has implemented a few changes to the state's badly broken criminal-justice system, she has mostly wasted her efforts scoring easy political points and fighting unnecessary battles. Meanwhile, on her watch, violent crime has swamped cities from Fall River to Springfield. No wonder she still talks about her work in the 1990s, and has little to say about what she's done over the past three years.”


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