Hampden County District Attorney Mark Mastroianni has been confirmed to be the new U.S. District Court judge in Springfield. Mastroianni, who was nominated to the federal bench by President Obama last September, won senate confirmation Wednesday on a 92-2 vote. He will replace outgoing federal judge Michael Ponsor, who took ‘senior status’ in August 2011. That’s allowed him to work fewer hours. Ponsor has said he’s pleased that Mastroianni was the nominee.
“He’s a tremendously qualified, excellent lawyer and person. And I imagine we’ll be talking quite a bit as he transitions into his new position,” said Ponsor.
Ponsor says however that the replacement process for federal judges moves too slowly and is hurting the court system. Mastroianni will remain the DA until he is officially sworn in as a federal judge. It is still unclear when that will happen. A spokesperson for Governor Deval Patrick, who is out of the country, says the Governor will name a replacement as soon as Mastroianni is sworn in.