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Department of Justice
U.S. Attorney’s Office
District of Massachusetts

Monday, April 28, 2014

Ortiz Appoints New First Assistant U.S. Attorney

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BOSTON - U.S. Attorney Carmen Ortiz announced that John T. McNeil will serve as First Assistant United States Attorney.  Mr. McNeil replaces Jack Pirozzolo who served as Ortiz’s First Assistant for more than four years.

“I am pleased to announce that John McNeil will serve as the new First Assistant United States Attorney,” said U.S. Attorney Ortiz. “I am confident that John’s breadth of legal and managerial experience will serve the Office and the District well.  I look forward to working with him in this new capacity.”

Mr. McNeil has been a public interest litigator for more than 20 years.  He has held several leadership positions under U.S. Attorney Ortiz, serving as the Deputy Chief of the Criminal Division from 2010-2012,  Acting Chief of the Major Crimes Unit, and Counsel to the United States Attorney.  

Mr. McNeil has been the lead prosecutor in a number of notable cases, including the prosecutions of State Senator Dianne Wilkerson, Boston City Councilor Chuck Turner, Massachusetts Speaker of the House Thomas Finneran, and a number of corrupt law enforcement officers, including Boston Police Officers Roberto Pulido and Jose Ortiz, and Malden Police Detective David Jordan.  Mr. McNeil also brought the first federal investigation of clergy sexual abuse of children, and reached the first criminal settlement in the nation with a Catholic diocese in In re Archdiocese of Boston.  In addition to his trial work, Mr. McNeil has briefed and argued numerous matters before the U.S. Court of Appeals for the First Circuit, and more recently, several matters before the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals.

He joined the U.S. Attorney’s Office in 1999, after serving for nearly a decade at the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, investigating and prosecuting complex environmental crimes.  He has also represented the United States in numerous civil environmental matters including the negotiation and litigation of multi-million dollar hazardous waste clean-up cases, emergency remedial actions, and regulatory penalty matters.  His litigation career started as an Assistant District Attorney in Norfolk County.  He recently returned to Boston after serving one year as an Assistant US Attorney in Seattle where he tried a multi-defendant international gun running and narcotics trafficking case.

Mr. McNeil currently serves as a lecturer at Boston University School of Law, and has been a speaker and taught courses at the Federal Law Enforcement Training Center, Harvard Law School and the Boston Bar Association, among others.   He earned his J.D. from Harvard Law School and his B.A. from the University of California at Berkeley.

Updated December 15, 2014