Senator Anthony Petruccelli, who served first in the Massachusetts House and later the Senate, announced that he will resign effective sometime in January to take a job in the private sector.
Petruccelli, who is currently the Senate’s Majority Whip, will go to work for Kearney, Donovan and McGee as a new member of their firm. Petruccelli will be in charge of the firm’s growing lobbying efforts.
“I love my job as a State Senator, however after almost 17 years in the legislature and 20 years as a public servant my family and I felt it was time to move in a different director for me professionally and for our lives as a family,” said Petruccelli Friday. “While it is sad to leave something that I have loved and that has been representing the people of First Suffolk and Middlesex District for almost nine years it is exciting to move into the private sector.”
Petruccelli, of East Boston, who got his start in politics as the late Mayor Thomas Menino’s neighborhood liaison to Eastie, was first elected during one of the neighborhood’s most hotly contested state representative races in 1999.
“I have known Anthony Petruccelli throughout his entire career in public service. I am proud to call him a colleague and a friend,” said City Councilor Sal LaMattina, who served as Petruccelli’s campaign coordinator in 1999. “He has been an excellent representative not only for East Boston but also his entire district. I can say with confidence that East Boston is better off now than when Anthony first took office. I have never met a more dedicated and loyal servant than Anthony. I will be sad to see him go but I am forever grateful for all that he has done for our neighborhood.”
He served in the House with distinction for eight years, chairing committees such as the Committee of Election Laws and the Community on Development and Small Business. As Eastie’s state representative, Petruccelli tackled issues on the environment, housing, economic development and education.
“I have to admit I did not see it coming,” said House Speaker Robert DeLeo. “Sometimes people leave the House or the Senate and you look at their position and you see it might be hard for them to progress in light of their position but Anthony (Petruccelli) did not have that issue. He was in a good position where he was to elevate in the Senate because he was a guy that was very well respected by both parties and in both the House and in the Senate. Personally I’m losing a partner. Many times representativess and senators may not have the best of relations but I have been very fortunate to serve with former Senate President Travaglini and later with Anthony not only as colleagues but as friends.”
One of his first major pieces of legislation was the Air Quality Initiative that focused on Massport bringing its fleet of 12,000 vehicles into the 21st Century. The legislation forced Massport to begin changing its fleet to vehicles that produced less emissions.
He also drafted an amendment in the Environmental Bond Bill while in the House to begin a comprehensive Logan Airport Health Study to show the possible effects airport operations have on surrounding communities. The study, released in 2014 found that in adults, COPD was statistically significantly higher for residents who have lived three or more years in the high exposure area. The study also found that children in the high exposure area were three-to-four times more likely to report asthma-related symptoms compared with children in the low exposure area.
He also formed the Metropolitan Beach Commission, which he chaired with Senator Jack Hart, while in the House. The commission was tasked with finding ways to improve beaches from Nahant to Hull and make them more accessible and enjoyable for residents and families in the area.
“Anthony is both a friend and mentor who, for years, has been a tremendous advocate for East Boston and his entire district,” said Rep. Adrian Madaro. “While the time was short, I’m grateful for having the opportunity to serve with him in the Legislature and wish him and his family all the best.”
In 2007, when former Senate President Robert Travaglini resigned from the Senate, Petruccelli ran and won the seat during a special election.
In the Senate, Petruccelli rose through the ranks quickly and chaired several committees, most notably as Chairman of Financial Services. Last year Petruccelli was tapped by Senate President Stan Rosenberg for a leadership role in the Senate as Majority Whip.
“Senator Petruccelli’s passion for his district, knowledge, and intellect will be missed,” said Rosenberg. “He is a true leader who is very well liked and respected by his colleagues in the Senate. It has been a pleasure to serve with him and he has become a true friend. I am certain he will succeed in his next endeavor and I wish him nothing but the best.”
As senator, Petruccelli began to aggressively tackle the issue of substance abuse here and throughout his district. Petruccelli formed a drug task force and sponsored meetings and forums to begin a serious conversation about the issue and how to better address the scourge of substance abuse in the communities.
In the end, an emotional Petruccelli said that he has thoroughly enjoyed his time serving the district and thanked his supporters on behalf of himself, his wife, Alessandra and his two children, Alexa and Anthony.
“It has been an incredible 17 years working at the Statehouse,” said Petruccelli. “Alessandra and I have made so many friends throughout my district over the years and going to work everyday at the Statehouse representing this district and its people has truly been a unique experience. To think that so many thousands of people put their faith and trust in me to represent them is an honor th
at I will carry with me wherever I go.”
In a statement from Kearney, Donovan and McGee the firm said, “We are delighted that Senator Anthony Petruccelli will be joining the Kearney, Donovan and McGee team. His longtime commitment to public service reflects the values that our team prides itself on. We look forward to working with Senator Petruccelli to continue to provide our clients with outstanding service and to build our firm for the future.”