BOSTON (WHDH) – In a race that has seen tensions rise and accusations develop into court actions, the candidates for Suffolk County District Attorney will see where the cards fall on Tuesday.
Incumbent DA Kevin Hayden has been running against Boston City Councilor Ricardo Arroyo for the position. Arroyo said he is not sure how the race is going to end, but never wants to see a race like this happen again.
“It’s certainly one of the roughest campaigns that I’ve ever seen,” Arroyo said. “I think, you know, from the leaking of illegal documents to the way in which this office has been used to write statements directly about me, in terms of the Suffolk County District Attorney’s Office, I don’t think we’ve ever seen anything like this, I hope we never see anything like it again.”
Late in the campaign, sealed documents were leaked to the press showing that Arroyo was accused of sexual misconduct when he was in high school, then two years later.
No charges were filed in either case, with Arroyo spending the final weeks emphasizing that he did nothing wrong. He also went to court to unseal have police files from one of the investigations.
“My hope is that (voters) understand that the person who stands here before them today is certainly not a junior in high school and is somebody who is trying very hard to move our justice system forward,” Arroyo told reporters after stopping at a polling station.
Win or lose, Arroyo said he wants to see an indepdent investigation into who leaked information about the cases, a leak he believed came from the office of his opponent, DA Hayden.
As polls opened and voters cast their ballots, Arroyo said he believes he did everything he could to get elected.
“I think what people make decisions on is largely out of my control and I’ve made it through the last two weeks, essentially, letting things that are out of my control be out of my control and focusing on the things that I have to focus on, individually,” he added.
Arroyo said if he does get elected, he would not expect to conduct the investigation of his predecessor, hoping that the attorney general’s office would take up the role.
Incumbent Kevin Hayden, who’s been serving as the Suffolk County district attorney on an interim basis, had little to say as he cast his ballot in West Roxbury Tuesday morning.
In recent weeks, though, he’s denied allegations that he had any involvement in the leak of documents that sparked sexual assault allegations against Arroyo, his opponent. As he fights to keep his job, he’s come up against his fair share of criticism himself.
“Everyone’s gotta vote vote vote vote vote, that’s the most important thing,” Hayden said outside his polling place.
If given the opportunity to stay in office, Hayden said he would place a large emphasis on gun control, including “intervention and prevention strategies.” He would also tackle collaboration efforts with community partners and community police and prosecution.
Hayden began his career as a prosecutor in Suffolk County, and was appointed to the DA position by Gov. Charlie Baker in January. He filled the seat vacated by Rachael Rollins, who became U.S. Attorney for Massachusetts.
Although his opponent Arroyo has had to defend himself against sexual assault allegations, Hayden has spent his campaign responding to questions about his prior role as chair of the state’s Sex Offender Registry Board. During his tenure, a state audit found the board didn’t classify information for almost 2,000 sex offenders in the state. This meant that residents had no way to know if a sex offender lived in their community.
Hayden argued during a recent debate that his 25 years of experience makes him more qualified for the job. His campaign will hold an election night party in South Boston.
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