Matthew McDonough, who had been serving as the Chief Probation Officer at West Roxbury District Court before being tapped to head the probation department at East Boston District Court, was officially sworn in last Wednesday evening.
McDonough, a Dorchester native, replaces former Chief Probation Officer Thomas Tassinari who retired over the summer after 30-plus years in probation both here and in Chelsea District Court.
“I’m glad he was chosen, excited he was chosen and excited about what the future brings because he’s going to work collaboratively with a lot of the people invited here tonight,” said East Boston District Court’s First Chief Justice John McDonald. “He’s going to work diligently to improve the qualities of life for the people of East Boston and Winthrop.”
McDonough made his first public appearance after being announced as Eastie new probation chief at Tassinari’s retirement party earlier this month at the Beachmont VFW.
“He’s a really good guy and he’ll do a really good job in East Boston,” said Tassinari. “He’ll fit right in.”
Tassinari pointed out that McDonough made a lateral move from West Roxbury to Eastie, showing just how respected and admired the East Boston Court is and the municipal court system.
“I just wanted to be here to congratulate the new Chief and his family as well because this is an exciting day for all of them,” said Rep. Adrian Madaro. “We (Chief McDonough and I) got to exchange a few words at Tommy’s (Tassinari) retirement party and I could tell immediately from our conversation that he has the personality for this job but more importantly the temperament and compassion to come into a community like ours. The beautiful and special thing about this courthouse is that it is truly a community court–and Chief McDonough sees that. I really look forward to working with him.”
Sen. Joseph Boncore said he wanted to be on hand at the swearing in of McDonough to invite him into ‘our family’.
“Before I was a Senator I was a public defender in this court and some of the same court officers that were here 20 years ago are still here today so it truly is like a family,” said Boncore. “He held the same position in West Roxbury so it moving over to East Boston shows he really wanted to be here.”
Speaker of the House Robert DeLeo said McDonough is, ‘perfect for this job, this court and this community”.
“This is really a truly a community court,” said DeLeo, addressing McDonough directly. “Judge Joseph Ferrino started the process of really bringing the court into the community and the tradition has been continued for decades and continues under the leadership of Judge McDonald. It is one of the best run courts in the state and I’m so proud to be here to welcome you to the court. From what I’ve heard about you I think you are the right man in the right time in the right place. I want to congratulate you and all the members of your family.”
After being sworn in by Chief Justice Paula Carey of the Boston Municipal Trial Court, McDonough addressed the audience.
“I want to thank everyone for coming out tonight, it means a lot to me,” said McDonough. “Today we are here to acknowledge the great work that is done at East Boston District Court under the leadership of First Justice Judge McDonald. For the past 20 years I have worked at courts that have covered half the city and during this time there have been a lot of changes–changes in probation administration, changes in our laws and there’s been changes in the use of assessment tools. Throughout my career I have witnessed the positive change the probation department can make in a community. I want you all to know I am committed to providing treatment services and public safety. East Boston Court is like no other. It is a true community court. As the court addresses criminal and civil issues we are also open for individuals that are not on the docket. My office will always remain open to listen, share and assist so I challenge anyone to come in that needs assistance. You’ve already made me feel like I’m part of the family.”