Thomas Reilly

Last updated
Thomas F. Reilly
57th Massachusetts Attorney General
In office
January 7, 1999 January 17, 2007
Governor Paul Cellucci
Jane Swift
Mitt Romney
Preceded by Scott Harshbarger
Succeeded by Martha Coakley
District Attorney of Middlesex County
In office
January 3, 1991 January 7, 1999
Preceded by Scott Harshbarger
Succeeded by Martha Coakley
Personal details
Born (1942-02-14) February 14, 1942 (age 77)
Springfield, Massachusetts
Political party Democratic
Profession Lawyer

Thomas F. Reilly (born February 14, 1942) is an American attorney and politician who served as the 45th Massachusetts Attorney General. He was born in Springfield, Massachusetts to Irish immigrant parents.

Massachusetts Attorney General attorney general for the U.S. state of Massachusetts

The Massachusetts Attorney General is an elected constitutionally defined executive officer of the Massachusetts Government. The officeholder is the chief lawyer and law enforcement officer of the Commonwealth of Massachusetts. The officeholder also acts as an advocate and resource for the Commonwealth and its residents in many areas, including consumer protection, combating fraud and corruption, protecting civil rights, and maintaining economic competition. The current Attorney General is Maura Healey.

Springfield, Massachusetts City in Massachusetts

Springfield is a city in the state of Massachusetts, United States, and the seat of Hampden County. Springfield sits on the eastern bank of the Connecticut River near its confluence with three rivers: the western Westfield River, the eastern Chicopee River, and the eastern Mill River. As of the 2010 Census, the city's population was 153,060. As of 2018, the estimated population was 155,032, making it the third-largest city in Massachusetts, the fourth-most populous city in New England after Boston, Worcester, and Providence, and the 12th-most populous in the Northeastern United States. Metropolitan Springfield, as one of two metropolitan areas in Massachusetts, had a population of 692,942 as of 2010.

Immigration to the United States demographic phenomenon

Immigration to the United States is the international movement of non-U.S. nationals in order to reside permanently in the country. Immigration has been a major source of population growth and cultural change throughout much of the U.S. history. Because the United States is a settler colonial society, all Americans, with the exception of the small percent of Native Americans, can trace their ancestry to immigrants from other nations around the world.


He was one of three candidates who sought the Democratic nomination for governor of Massachusetts in the 2006 election. Former U.S. Assistant Attorney General Deval Patrick won the party's nomination and the general election, defeating Reilly and businessman Chris Gabrieli.

Democratic Party (United States) Major political party in the United States

The Democratic Party is one of the two major contemporary political parties in the United States, along with its rival, the Republican Party. Tracing its heritage back to Thomas Jefferson and James Madison's Democratic-Republican Party, the modern-day Democratic Party was founded around 1828 by supporters of Andrew Jackson, making it the world's oldest active political party.

Governor of Massachusetts head of state and of government of the U.S. commonwealth of Massachusetts

The Governor of Massachusetts is the head of the executive branch of the Government of Massachusetts and serves as commander-in-chief of the Commonwealth's military forces. The current governor is Charlie Baker.

United States Assistant Attorney General Government official rank

Many of the divisions and offices of the United States Department of Justice are headed by an Assistant Attorney General.

Early life

Reilly, a native of Springfield, Massachusetts, described himself as a "misguided youth" the year his father, Mortimer "Murty" Reilly, was found dead at home from a heart attack when Reilly was 16. Reilly was arrested for public drunkenness when he was 20. [1] By age 22, he was focused with driving ambition, much to the credit of his friend Wayne Budd's father, an ex-Marine turned policeman in Springfield who took him under his wing and encouraged him to go to school.

Myocardial infarction Interruption of blood supply to a part of the heart

Myocardial infarction (MI), also known as a heart attack, occurs when blood flow decreases or stops to a part of the heart, causing damage to the heart muscle. The most common symptom is chest pain or discomfort which may travel into the shoulder, arm, back, neck or jaw. Often it occurs in the center or left side of the chest and lasts for more than a few minutes. The discomfort may occasionally feel like heartburn. Other symptoms may include shortness of breath, nausea, feeling faint, a cold sweat or feeling tired. About 30% of people have atypical symptoms. Women more often present without chest pain and instead have neck pain, arm pain or feel tired. Among those over 75 years old, about 5% have had an MI with little or no history of symptoms. An MI may cause heart failure, an irregular heartbeat, cardiogenic shock or cardiac arrest.

Wayne Budd is senior counsel at Goodwin Procter, in the firm's Litigation Department, where he specializes in advising clients on business and commercial litigation matters. Past senior executive vice president and general counsel, U.S., of John Hancock Financial Services, Inc., a division of Manulife Financial. He was responsible for directing all of the company’s legal activities as well as overseeing the compliance, human resources, governmental affairs and community relations functions for the Company.

Reilly attended Cathedral High School in Springfield, Massachusetts. He graduated in 1959. After graduating high school, he went off to college in Nova Scotia at St. Francis Xavier University. He stayed there only a year, transferring to American International College in Springfield, Massachusetts, where he graduated on June 7, 1964. He received a Bachelor of Arts in Economics.

Cathedral High School was a Catholic co-educational college-preparatory high school in Springfield, Massachusetts. Opened in 1883 by the Sisters of Saint Joseph at the diocese's Saint Michael's Cathedral, its last facility had been at 321 Main Street in Wilbraham, Massachusetts due to the June 1, 2011, tornado.

Nova Scotia Province of Canada

Nova Scotia is one of Canada's three Maritime Provinces, and one of the four provinces that form Atlantic Canada. Its provincial capital is Halifax. Nova Scotia is the second-smallest of Canada's ten provinces, with an area of 55,284 square kilometres (21,300 sq mi), including Cape Breton and another 3,800 coastal islands. As of 2016, the population was 923,598. Nova Scotia is Canada's second-most-densely populated province, after Prince Edward Island, with 17.4 inhabitants per square kilometre (45/sq mi).

St. Francis Xavier University

St. Francis Xavier University is a primarily undergraduate university located in Antigonish, Nova Scotia, Canada. It is a member of the Maple League, a group of primarily undergraduate universities in Eastern Canada.

In July 1966, Reilly married Ruth Gammons (b. 1941), now a retired schoolteacher. The couple have three daughters: Leslie (b. 1968), Meaghan (b. 1973) and Kyle (b. 1980).

Reilly moved to Washington, D.C. and worked for two years with the Central Intelligence Agency. For one year, Reilly lived in Dearborn, Michigan, where he worked with the Ford Motor Company as a Labor Relations Representative until 1967. Reilly attended Boston College Law School and received his JD in June 1970.

Washington, D.C. Capital of the United States

Washington, D.C., formally the District of Columbia and commonly referred to as Washington or D.C., is the capital of the United States. Founded after the American Revolution as the seat of government of the newly independent country, Washington was named after George Washington, the first president of the United States and a Founding Father. As the seat of the United States federal government and several international organizations, Washington is an important world political capital. The city, located on the Potomac River bordering Maryland and Virginia, is one of the most visited cities in the world, with more than 20 million tourists annually.

Central Intelligence Agency National intelligence agency of the United States

The Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) is a civilian foreign intelligence service of the federal government of the United States, tasked with gathering, processing, and analyzing national security information from around the world, primarily through the use of human intelligence (HUMINT). As one of the principal members of the United States Intelligence Community (IC), the CIA reports to the Director of National Intelligence and is primarily focused on providing intelligence for the President and Cabinet of the United States.

Dearborn, Michigan City in Michigan, United States

Dearborn is a city in the State of Michigan. It is located in Wayne County and is part of the Detroit metropolitan area. Dearborn is the eighth largest city in the State of Michigan. As of the 2010 census, it had a population of 98,153 and is home to the largest Muslim population in the United States. First settled in the late 18th century by ethnic French farmers in a series of ribbon farms along the Rouge River and the Sauk Trail, the community grew in the 19th century with the establishment of the Detroit Arsenal on the Chicago Road linking Detroit and Chicago. In the 20th century, it developed as a major manufacturing hub for the automotive industry.

Reilly worked for two years as a prosecutor in the state Attorney General's civil rights division. He worked for four years as a Suffolk County prosecutor. In 1976, Reilly and Budd formed "Budd and Reilly", a Boston-based law firm. The firm became the largest minority-dominated firm in New England.

Suffolk County, Massachusetts County in the United States

Suffolk County is a county in the Commonwealth of Massachusetts, in the United States. As of 2018, the population was 807,252 making it the fourth-most populous county in Massachusetts. The traditional county seat is Boston, the state capital and the largest city in Massachusetts. The county government was abolished in late 1999, and so Suffolk County today functions only as an administrative subdivision of state government and a set of communities grouped together for some statistical purposes. Suffolk County constitutes the core of the Boston-Cambridge-Newton, MA-NH Metropolitan Statistical Area as well as the greater Boston-Worcester-Providence, MA-RI-NH-CT Combined Statistical Area.

New England Region in the northeastern United States

New England is a region composed of six states in the northeastern United States: Maine, Vermont, New Hampshire, Massachusetts, Rhode Island, and Connecticut. It is bordered by the state of New York to the west and by the Canadian provinces of New Brunswick to the northeast and Quebec to the north. The Atlantic Ocean is to the east and southeast, and Long Island Sound is to the south. Boston is New England's largest city, as well as the capital of Massachusetts. The largest metropolitan area, with nearly a third of New England's population, is Greater Boston, which also includes Worcester, Massachusetts, Manchester, New Hampshire, and Providence, Rhode Island.

Political career

Reilly left the law firm in 1983 to work in Middlesex County District Attorney Scott Harshbarger's administration as First Assistant District Attorney. In 1990, Reilly was elected Middlesex County District Attorney. He was reelected for a second term.

Reilly ran for attorney general in 1998 against state Senator Lois Pines and won the Democratic Primary. He defeated Republican Brad Bailey in the November election. He was reelected for a second term in 2002.

On November 30, 2005 Reilly said that he was conducting an investigation of Sony BMG over their use of the XCP Digital Rights Management DRM on Sony audio CDs. See 2005 Sony BMG CD copy protection scandal.

In January 2006, Reilly came under fire for allegedly impeding an investigation into an October 2005 automobile crash which left two Southborough, Massachusetts teens dead, and another teen injured. [2]

Reilly has come under fire from gun rights advocates for allegedly abusing his regulatory authority for political purposes (see Gun Owners Action League article).

On January 24, 2006, Reilly officially kicked off his first gubernatorial campaign in Springfield at his alma mater American International College (see Massachusetts gubernatorial election, 2006 ). He finished third in the primary on September 19, 2006. His opponent, Deval Patrick, went on to win the general election.

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Legal offices
Preceded by
Scott Harshbarger
District Attorney of Middlesex County, Massachusetts
Succeeded by
Martha Coakley
Preceded by
Scott Harshbarger
Attorney General of Massachusetts
1999 - 2007
Succeeded by
Martha Coakley