Veteran lawyer Kevin Hayden was sworn in Monday by Governor Charlie Baker as the new Suffolk district attorney, tasked with completing the term vacated by Rachael Rollins, who became the US attorney for Massachusetts the same day.
Hayden previously worked in the office as an assistant district attorney from 1997 to 2008 and was head of the Safe Neighborhood Initiative. He has been chairman of the state’s Sex Offender Registry Board since 2015, when Baker appointed him to that role.
In his new post, Hayden said prosecuting illegal firearms cases will be a top priority for the office.
“I am beginning a comprehensive review of all the gun cases pending in this office; each one has the potential to cause great harm to our communities,” Hayden said in a statement Monday. “The harm that guns cause is incalculable and we must do everything in our power, use every tool at our disposal, to reduce that harm.”
Hayden named Boston defense attorney Kevin R. Mullen as his first assistant district attorney and announced plans to form a “transition team to help review office policies,” according to the statement.
“The Suffolk County District Attorney’s Office is staffed with exceptional attorneys and non-lawyers who are dedicated to justice and nurturing safe communities. That will not change with my administration,” Hayden said in the statement. “I am returning home by coming back to the office where I started my legal career. I could not be prouder to lead this office, which is so critical to preventing crime and harm in Boston, Chelsea, Revere and Winthrop.”
It is unknown whether Hayden, a registered Democrat, will run for a full term as district attorney after the current term runs out later this year.