PITTSFIELD — Berkshire District Attorney David F. Capeless has been elected president of the Massachusetts District Attorneys Association, a group representing the 11 top prosecutors across the state.
Capeless, who was elected Wednesday during the MDAA's monthly meeting in Boston, said his top priority in his new role will be to ensure that action to combat the present opioid abuse crisis will result in effective reforms of present medical prescribing practices, insurance provisions for treatment and support for law enforcement to investigate and prosecute drug traffickers and dealers.
"The District Attorneys Association will be looking to work closely with the Legislature and the Administration to strengthen public policy regarding the over-prescription, diversion and misuse of prescription pain medications while providing sufficient substance abuse services and treatment," Capeless said in a prepared statement. "We will also maintain our efforts with our partners in law enforcement to hold accountable those who foster and profit from the miseries of addiction."
"These are difficult times, but I believe that sound public policy paired with smart public safety efforts will allow us to achieve our goals," Capeless said.
Capeless was appointed Berkshire District Attorney by Governor Mitt Romney in March of 2004 to succeed former District Attorney Gerard Downing, who died unexpectedly in December 2003, and was elected district attorney in a special election in November of 2004. He has been re-elected to full, four-year terms in 2006, 2010 and 2014, the last two elections running unopposed.
He was recently appointed by Gov. Charlie Baker to serve on the five-member Board of the Massachusetts Office Of Victim Assistance, which ensures supportive services for victims of crimes and their families through policy development, legislative initiatives, fund administration and training.
Capeless succeeds Suffolk District Attorney Daniel Conley as president of the association. Middlesex District Attorney Marian Ryan, has been elected vice president of the association.