(MyFoxBoston.com) – Martha Coakley, Tom Reilly, Scott Harshbarger…all of them were once the Middlesex County District Attorney, a coveted high-profile position in the state's largest country.
The current district attorney, Gerry Leone, says he is getting out of public office. His decision to get out of public office ends a 20-year record of prosecutors who make the jump to the Attorney General's office.
FOX 25's Sharman Sacchetti sat down with Leone who in addition to not running for reelection as Middlesex County District Attorney, has also decided to not run for John Kerry's vacated Senate seat begging the question…is Leone finished with politics for good?
"I am. I am. I have no intention to continue a life in politics, at least for the near future which means the next several years," Leone said.
Leone said he took a step back and considered running for the Senate seat, but ultimately his desire to leave government service won.
"…I'm leaving electoral politics and government service, and that just helped me know and confirm that I was making the right decision."
"Why leave politics now? You are a rising star in the party," Sacchetti asked.
"You know, as far as politics goes, I never got into the business of doing what I do because of the politics. I've never been about party politics, and in fact, as a district attorney, I've minimized the politics. For me, it's been around five very important elements, which basically define what I do and what I want to continue doing, and that is managing and leading teams of people in a goal and objective-based focused mission. Helping people, and importantly solving problems and making decisions. That's what I do, and that's what I like to do," Leone replied.
Leone told Sacchetti that he wanted to satisfy all five of those elements on a personal and professional level in some other field; however, he is not sure where he wants to head next. It was rumored Leone could be headed to Penn State to fulfill some sort of athletic department role, but Leone confirms it is just a rumor.
Leone has spent his career prosecuting high-profile cases. His career includes the convictions of nanny Louise Woodward and shoe bomber Richard Reid.
As the largest county in Massachusetts, Leone's office sees everything from murder to public corruption.
"The job of a prosecutor comes with a very dark side. You're constantly dealing with the darker side of human nature. And these jobs come with an intensely human element to them, but I'm always heartened by the light side," Leone said regarding his position. "Personally, I would hope people would remember me as someone who fought for the most vulnerable. I spent most of my time in and around the areas of schools, kids' communities, domestic violence, the elderly, victims. If people are going to remember me personally for anything it would be about the most vulnerable. And being a champion for them."
When asked if he would serve out his entire term, Leone said it would depend on what opportunities opened up to him.