Massachusetts Governor Deval Patrick Monday appointed a veteran of the Hampden County District Attorney’s Office to fill the remaining term of outgoing DA Mark Mastroianni. The appointment of Jim Orenstein came just moments after Mastroianni’s resignation as DA, and official swearing in as a federal judge.
Jim Orenstein, who is 64, spent five years as a public defender and eight years in private practice before joining in the District Attorney’s office in 1991. He served as first assistant DA for 16 years until 2012, when he resigned to work part time on special projects for the office. Orenstein says his main priority as interim DA will be to ensure the office remains working smoothly and addressing the recent spike in gun violence in Holyoke and Springfield.
“There are too many guns illegally carried by too many people. And that’s the problem that has to be addressed and its going to have to be a multidisciplinary approach to that. We certainly want to be a part of that. We certainly want to be a part of a dialogue with any other agencies working on this complex issue,” he says.
Orenstein will serve until a newly elected DA takes office in January.