WellesleyWeston Magazine

WINTER 2015-2016

Launched in 2005, WellesleyWeston Magazine is a quarterly publication tailored to Wellesley and Weston residents and edited to enrich the experience of living in two of Massachusetts' most desirable communities.

Issue link: http://wellesleywestonmagazine.epubxp.com/i/596643

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lon adeptly answered questions posed by a diverse group of approximately 35 citizens of the Commonwealth, ranging from college students to retirees, from passionate environmentalists to hard-core capitalists. He fielded queries from fellow lawyers, fundraisers, doctors, high-tech executives, dyed-in the-wool Democrats and Republicans alike — even a former Ambassador and a few who call themselves politically unaware. While not an elected official and in a supporting role to the Governor, Lon is certainly up to the charge of public speaking. For an hour and a half, he educated and regaled the group with his knowl- edge, intelligence, and wit. Enjoy a few of his many responses captured in this article. WellesleyWeston Magazine: What is your role as chief legal counsel? Lon Povich: I'm the governor's lawyer. I don't appear in court for the Commonwealth, that's the attorney general, and I don't represent Governor Baker in his personal matters. I represent him in his role as governor. So, if he needs legislation or an executive order drafted; if he needs a reaction to legislation such as a veto message, that's a job for my team and me. I provide counsel regarding his legal powers, review- ing lawsuits that involve the governor, and consulting with lawyers throughout the executive branch on important issues facing their agencies. I work with the attorney general's office on legal matters in which they represent the state. But, I consider one of my most impor- tant roles is to help with the selection of judges. The governor has the constitutional power to appoint judges subject to the advice and con- sent of the Governor's Council and the chief legal counsel has a big role in the process. So, that's what I do on Mondays. On Tuesdays, I do whatever the governor asks. WWM: Why were you interested in this job? LP: At this point in my career, I've held diverse lawyer positions, so I knew what I was getting into. I worked at a big law firm [Goodwin, Procter & Hoar], was a federal prosecutor [Assistant United States Attorney — Economic Crimes Unit], worked in this office as a deputy about 20 years ago [Deputy Chief Legal Counsel in the Weld adminis- tration], and then I spent the last 18 years as the general counsel first at the Boston Consulting Group for 11 years and most recently at BJ's Wholesale Club. I knew Governor Baker from my days and his days in the Weld administration, but was not close to him and had only stayed in light touch. I was never politically involved with him; I didn't work on either of his campaigns. After Charlie Baker got elected and through friends of mine, I made it known to him that I was interested in the chief legal counsel role. So, the Governor-elect invited me to his house in Swampscott the second Saturday after the election. I thought this was a pretty good sign. During our conversation he basically asked me, "Do you really want to leave your big corporate job with good benefits to come work for the state again?" I answered with a story: "When I was 20 and a junior at Dartmouth College, I went back to my home state of Maine for an internship in the governor's office 59 w i n t e r 2 0 1 5 / 2 0 1 6 | W e l l e s l e y W e s t o n M a g a z i n e E L I Z A B E T H S U N E B Y writer / B R I A N S M I T H photographer Wellesley Weston Magazine recently convened a town meeting question and answer session with Lon Povich, Chief Legal Counsel to the Governor of Massachusetts, Charlie Baker.

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