- Associated Press - Wednesday, January 21, 2015

BOSTON (AP) - Rounding out his Cabinet, Gov. Charlie Baker on Wednesday named veteran prosecutor Daniel Bennett to serve as the state public safety secretary.

Bennett joins the new Republican administration after serving most recently as the senior first assistant district attorney under Worcester District Attorney Joseph Early Jr.

Bennett also previously served as a prosecutor in the Middlesex district attorney’s office and as a member of the gang unit in the Suffolk DA’s office.

In making the announcement, Baker said Bennett brings integrity and experience to the public safety post.

“Massachusetts’ law enforcement has made great strides in protecting our communities and I look forward to joining Daniel to enhance the trust forged between public safety officials and the community,” the governor said in a statement.

The Executive Office of Public Safety oversees a number of key agencies, including the state police, Department of Correction and Massachusetts Emergency Management Agency.

Bennett said he looked forward to making the state “a safer place to live, work and raise a family for everyone.”

Baker’s final Cabinet appointment, Bennett succeeds Andrea Cabral, who served as secretary under Democratic Gov. Deval Patrick and remained on for the first two weeks of Baker’s administration.

Bennett was honored by the Massachusetts District Attorneys Association as Prosecutor of the Year in 2013. In a press release announcing the award, Early said Bennett - who joined the Worcester office in 2011 - handled some of the toughest murder prosecutions, including one that ended in the conviction of a Fitchburg man charged with killing his wife and putting her body in a large suitcase that was discarded off a highway.

A Boston man, Pernell Powell, was sentenced last February to nine years in federal prison after being charged with attempting to hire a hit man to kill Bennett, who had recommended that Powell get up to five years in jail in a drunken driving case, the Telegram and Gazette reported at the time.

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