Healey to Take Oath as Mass. Attorney General

Attorney General-elect Maura Healey is vowing to use regular public meetings, online forums and social media to keep an open door with the public

Attorney General-elect Maura Healey is vowing to use regular public meetings, online forums and social media to keep an open door with the public.

Healey will unveil her plan for a new Division of Community Engagement when she takes her oath of office during a ceremony at Boston's historic Faneuil Hall.

The 43-year-old Democrat will be sworn in Wednesday afternoon, becoming the state's 55th attorney general. Massachusetts Supreme Judicial Court Chief Justice Ralph Gants will administer the oath.

In a speech following the swearing-in, Healey will announce the new outreach effort, which she said will make it easier for the public to communicate with her office. That effort will include a regular "Ask the AG" online forum, online videos, and the ability for the public to request meetings.

Healey also will promise expanded constituent services in regional offices across the state and the use of technology to track complaint trends and focus potential investigations.

"That commitment begins with an attorney general's office guided by the values of responsiveness, inclusion, and integrity so that the people we are here to serve know that we are on their side," Healey said in prepared remarks.

Healey won election last year to fill the office being vacated by Attorney General Martha Coakley.

Healey, the first openly gay candidate elected attorney general, has also pointed to the state's battle with heroin and prescription drug abuse as a top priority.

Healey has said she'll push to expand the state's prescription monitoring program - which allows doctors and pharmacists to view a patient's recent prescription history - and is considering legal action against pharmaceutical companies to help curb prescription drug abuse.

Healey said she also wants to strengthen the state's pharmacy lock-in programs that limit to a single pharmacy those individuals suspected of doctor-shopping for prescription drugs or abusing their prescriptions.

She's pointed to a number of other key issues - including foreclosures, student loan debt, and what she portrayed as the corrosive influence of money in politics following the U.S. Supreme Court's Citizens United decision that lifted restrictions on independent spending by corporations and labor unions.

Healey hasn't ruled out pursuing legislation or litigation to rein in money in politics, which she said has diluted the voice of voters.

Other statewide officials being sworn in Wednesday include Democratic state treasurer-elect Deborah Goldberg, who will be replacing Treasurer Steve Grossman.

Goldberg will be sworn in Wednesday morning in the House chamber at the Statehouse by Gov. Charlie Baker, who was sworn in earlier this month with Lt. Gov. Karyn Polito.

Goldberg said she wants to focus on policy solutions that will improve the economy.

State Auditor Suzanne Bump will be sworn in for a second term by Baker in a separate Statehouse ceremony Wednesday afternoon. The state's longest service constitutional officer - state Secretary William Galvin - will be sworn in by Baker during a private ceremony.

For the first time in Massachusetts history, the majority of the state's six constitutional offices will be held by women.

Copyright AP - Associated Press
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