A Suffolk prosecutor assigned to Chelsea District Court was honored recently for her community-minded work in and out of the courtroom, District Attorney Daniel F. Conley said.
During the 13th Annual Suffolk Awards, held last month at Suffolk University Law School, prosecutors, advocates, civilian investigators, and support staff were honored for their outstanding efforts on behalf of the communities of Boston, Chelsea, Revere, and Winthrop.
Assistant District Attorney Stacey Pichardo was recognized with the Brian J. Honan Award for Excellence in the Courtroom and Commitment to the Communities We Serve – among the highest honors presented each year, and one that Conley said every prosecutor should aspire to.
“Stacey is not only an outstanding prosecutor,” Conley said. “She’s also a dedicated advocate for the people and communities she serves. She represents the very best of what it means to be a Suffolk prosecutor – diligence, integrity, fairness, and passion for public service.”
The award is given each year in honor of late Suffolk prosecutor and Boston City Councilor Brian Honan. It was delivered by Honan’s brother, State Representative Kevin Honan, who said, “As a teacher, as a prosecutor, and as a city councilor, my brother Brian had a vision of inclusion that welcomed everyone, no matter who they might be or where they might hail from. Assistant District Attorney Stacey Pichardo lives out that vision today. In her current assignment, she serves the people of Chelsea and Revere, and in particular their large immigrant communities, with compassion, respect, and the highest level of professionalism.”
In addition to her day-to-day work arraigning, assessing, trying, and disposing cases in Chelsea court, Pichardo took part in this year’s Advanced Trial Training program, which brings young prosecutors and defense attorneys together from across Massachusetts to hone their trial advocacy skills. One of her mentors in that program, a senior prosecutor assigned to the DA’s Appellate Division, described her courtroom skills as “fantastic” and said she had a “polish” that was far beyond her three years on the job.
In addition to her work in the courtroom, Conley said, Pichardo has also spoken to Chelsea youth through the Summer Youth Employment Program; to Boston Public Schools students participating in Conley’s Overcoming Violence program; and to participants in the Latina Women Moving Forward program, which connected her with other young women of Latina ancestry. Pichardo, who was born in the Dominican Republic, recounted the experience as particularly gratifying because, she said, “Pursuing a profession as a doctor or lawyer in my culture was routinely viewed as a path reserved only for men. It is very rewarding to have an opportunity to show young Latina women differently and perhaps inspire them to pursue their goals.”
Pichardo has earned the respect of police officers, detectives, and administrators in the course of her work, as well. After speaking to criminal justice students at Bunker Hill Community College on the role of the prosecutor earlier this year, the students’ professor – Chelsea Police Chief Brian Kyes – called Pichardo a “superstar” who earned the class’ admiration and gratitude.
“The entire class was absolutely thrilled with her classroom presentation and could not stop asking questions throughout. There were students who I have never heard speak over the last month or so that had numerous questions for Stacey,” Kyes wrote in a letter to Conley praising Pichardo. “She represented your office as well as the law profession with class, professionalism, and dignity.”
Revere Police Chief Joseph Cafarelli echosed those thoughts, saying, “We have enjoyed a professional relationship with Stacey Pichardo during her tenure at the District Attorney’s Office and look forward to continuing that relationship. The award is well deserved.”
A 2008 graduate of Norwich University with a degree in criminal justice and Spanish, Pichardo went on to study at Suffolk University Law School. She interned alongside Suffolk prosecutors in East Boston Municipal Court and in Conley’s Gang Unit before she was hired as an assistant district attorney in 2013.