|Scott Harshbarger speaking at a roundtable hosted by the Rappaport Center for Law and Public Service at Suffolk University on January 30, 2009.|
|Attorney General of Massachusetts|
January 3, 1991 – January 7, 1999
|Preceded by||James Shannon|
|Succeeded by||Thomas Reilly|
|District Attorney of Middlesex County|
|Preceded by||John J. Droney|
|Succeeded by||Thomas Reilly|
|Born||Luther Scott Harshbarger
December 1, 1941
New Haven, Connecticut
|Alma mater||Harvard College
Harvard Law School
Luther Scott Harshbarger (born December 1, 1941) is a lawyer and a Democratic politician from the Commonwealth of Massachusetts. He is currently Senior Counsel in the Boston office of Proskauer Rose.Harshbarger is married to Judith Stephenson. They have five children.
Education and early career
Harshbarger was born in New Haven, Connecticut. He attended Harvard College where he was a halfback on the varsity football team and Harvard Law School. After law school, Harshbarger worked as a public defender and civil rights attorney. He was first elected as District Attorney (DA) of Middlesex County, Massachusetts in 1982, defeating incumbent DA John Droney in the Democratic primary. He was re-elected in 1986.
Middlesex District Attorney
Harshbarger served as District Attorney for 8 years. Amongst the cases his office handled he obtained the conviction of Gerald Amirault and other employees of the Fells Acres Day Care Center in Malden, Massachusetts. The Amirault conviction has been upheld by every appellate court which has reviewed the decision. In addition, there was found by every jury and judge that there was physical evidence of sexual abuse in the victims . Despite these facts, the case was criticized as a miscarriage of justice in publications such as The Wall Street Journal and The Nation. Harshbarger was elected President of the Massachusetts Association of District Attorneys and was awarded the Livingston Hall Award by the American Bar Association for Harshbarger's outstanding work in Juvenile Justice.
In 1990 he was elected Attorney General of Massachusetts, defeating incumbent James Shannon in the Democratic primary. He was re-elected in 1994 with 72 percent of the vote. Harshbarger was one of the first Attorneys General in the nation to sue the tobacco industry for manufacturing a product, cigarettes, which causes disease and death when used as designed by the industry. Harshbarger was elected President of the National Attorneys General Association.
He was the Democratic nominee for Governor of Massachusetts in the 1998 gubernatorial election. He lost in a close race to incumbent Republican Governor Paul Celucci. Afterwards, Harshbarger served as president of the public interest organization Common Cause for three years, where he spearheaded the successful push for campaign finance reform in 2002 (McCain-Feingold).
Return to private legal practice
Since 2003, Harshbarger has practiced law in the private sector, focusing on corporate governance and related issues. He is currently Senior Counsel to the Firm at Proskauer Rose LLP in Boston, MA. Harshbarger has continued to serve the Commonwealth of Massachusetts as a private practice attorney by accepting appointments by both Republican and Democratic Governors of MA . He has chaired the Probation Reform Commission and Correctional Reform Commission. He also serves as member of the MA Supreme Judicial Court Management Advisory Board.
On September 22, 2009, the Association of Community Organizations for Reform Now (ACORN) announced that Harshbarger and Proskauer "would lead an independent inquiry into the organizational systems and processes surrounding the social services of the organization" pursuant to the recent allegations of corruption within that organization in the ACORN 2009 undercover videos controversy. Harshbarger issued his written report, essentially exonerating ACORN from any alleged illegal activity, in December 2009.
- Proskauer Rose LLP - SCOTT HARSHBARGER
- 1998 Gubernatorial General Election Results - Massachusetts
- Proskauer Rose LLP
- "Harshbarger report on ACORN videos: No illegal conduct ACORN leaders embrace recommendations of "roadmap for reform and renewal"". Association of Community Organizations for Reform Now. December 7, 2009. Retrieved 2010-10-22. (press release)
- "ACORN and the Ethics of Leadership", Atlantic Monthly, Dec. 8, 2009
- "ACORN Investigation Results", The Nonprofit Quarterly
John J. Droney
|District Attorney of Middlesex County, Massachusetts
|Attorney General of Massachusetts
|Party political offices|
|Massachusetts Democratic Party gubernatorial candidate