Treasurer Deborah Goldberg Announces Alcohol Task Force
7 Member Body to Review Alcoholic Beverage Industry and Regulatory Structure in Massachusetts
BOSTON - Treasurer Deb Goldberg today announced the Treasurer’s Alcohol Task Force, which will convene an independent group of professionals to examine the legal and regulatory framework governing the alcoholic beverage industry in Massachusetts. The Task Force will provide an assessment of the current climate and advise on any improvements necessary to execute the business of alcohol regulation. Partner at Choate, Hall & Stewart LLP, E. Macey Russell will chair the group.
“It is clear that our alcohol laws and regulatory structure have been in need of an exhaustive review for some time,” said Treasurer Deb Goldberg. “The report of this Task Force is critical to providing the best structure that meets the expectation of effective and safe oversight.”
The diverse group of thought leaders is tasked with making a comprehensive assessment of the current alcoholic beverage industry and its regulatory structure in Massachusetts. They will establish working groups made up of relevant stakeholders focused on specific areas and topics associated with the industry and its oversight. The task force, which consists of appointees selected by Treasurer Deb Goldberg, Governor Charles Baker, Senate President Stan Rosenberg, and Speaker of the House Robert DeLeo will provide a preliminary report to the Treasurer within 6 months of convening.
The Alcoholic Beverages Control Commission (ABCC) is an agency under the Office of the State Treasurer and Receiver General Deb Goldberg. Its overall objective is to provide uniform control over the sale, purchase, transportation, manufacture, and possession of alcoholic beverages in the state.
Members of the Alcohol Task Force:
Treasurer Deb Goldberg’s Appointee, Chair
E. Macey Russell is a partner at Choate Hall & Stewart LLP practicing complex commercial litigation and is listed in Best Lawyers in America. In 2016, American Registry listed him among America’s Top 1% of all Professionals and he received AV Preeminent ratings from both Martindale-Hubble and the Judiciary. He is a member of Litigation Counsel of America’s Trial Lawyer Honorary Society composed of less than one-half of 1% of American lawyers. In 2011, the American Bar Foundation named him a Fellow, which is reserved for one third of 1% of attorneys in his jurisdiction. Appointed by the Governor, from 2011 until 2014 he served as the Chair of the 21 member Judicial Nominating Commission which recommended judicial appointments at all levels throughout the Commonwealth. His honors include: 2011 Burton Award for Exceptional Legal Writing from The Burton Foundation and Library of Congress for his co-authored article “Developing Great Minority Lawyers for the Next Generation.” In 2009, Massachusetts Lawyers Weekly named him a “Diversity Hero.” He is a nationally recognized speaker on law firm diversity and inclusion. Russell received a JD from Suffolk University Law School in 1983 and a BA from Trinity College in 1980.
Treasurer Deb Goldberg’s Appointee, Member
Kate R. Cook is the Chair of Sugarman Rogers' Government Law Practice Group. Her government law practice focuses on advising both private and public sector clients on all aspects of government law at the federal, state, and local levels. Ms. Cook counsels clients on government ethics, conflicts of interest, constitutional law, public records, lobbying, campaign finance, election law, municipal law, crisis management, and legislative and regulatory drafting. Leveraging her experiences working at the state and local level, Kate helps clients navigate government to meet their goals. In addition, she represents government and corporate clients in complex litigation matters in the areas of general business, employment, environmental and real estate law. Kate's practice draws upon her unique skill set as a legal advisor to political executives in high profile and complex matters and as an experienced litigator with proven solution-oriented results. She has served as Chief Legal Counsel to the Governor, General Counsel to Massachusetts Senate Ways and Means Committee and Assistant Corporation Counsel to the City of Boston.
Most recently, Ms. Cook served as Chief Legal Counsel to Governor Deval L. Patrick. In that role, she advised the Governor and executive branch on legal, regulatory and policy matters across the administration. Kate played an active role in significant Governor Patrick policy initiatives, such as the Governor’s clemency decisions, opiate crisis response and regulatory reforms to strengthen small businesses. In the City of Boston law department, she tried several cases and handled a wide-range of municipal liability matters including election law, civil rights, Americans with Disabilities Act compliance, employment, and claims under the Massachusetts Tort Claims Act.
Treasurer Deb Goldberg’s Appointee, Member
Mayor Lisa Wong served four terms as Mayor of the city of Fitchburg. Elected to that office at the age of 28, Mayor Wong is the youngest female and the first Asian American female elected mayor in the Commonwealth of Massachusetts.
During her career, Mayor Wong’s work on community engagement, environmental issues, education and public health received numerous recognitions. Her work to engage immigrants has been featured on CNN and she chaired a national environmental justice task force as part of the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s Local Government Advisory Committee. Her FUN and FITchburg initiative to lower childhood obesity and target health disparities led to one of the largest drops in childhood obesity rates in the country. Mayor Wong has been named the Conservationist of the Year from the Trustees of Reservations, the Blue Green Hero award from the Ocean River Institute, the School Committee Member of the Year from the MA Association of School Committees, and the Gateway Cities Champion Award from MassINC.
Mayor Wong restored fiscal stability to Fitchburg, notably by increasing the stabilization fund, increasing the bond rating several times, reorganizing city departments, reducing health care costs, and instituting energy efficiency projects throughout the city. She attracted jobs and major investment into Fitchburg through smart growth planning projects, including reinvestment in vacant mills and the $100 million development of an indoor water resort. As co-chair of the Massachusetts Gateway Cities Initiative, Mayor Wong helped to develop new funding and incentive programs to attract inner city development and save manufacturing jobs.
Treasurer Deb Goldberg’s Appointee, Member
Rachael Rollins has served as the Chief Legal Counsel and a trusted member of the Executive Leadership teams in some of the largest and most complicated State agencies and authorities in the Commonwealth of Massachusetts. In addition to her State service, Ms. Rollins spent four years as a federal prosecutor in the United States Attorney's Office for the District of Massachusetts. There, she defended the United States and its agencies in a wide array of civil suits and prosecuted both civil and criminal cases, including drug and firearm offenses, and litigated complex white collar criminal matters. Immediately before joining the U.S. Attorney's Office, Ms. Rollins spent several years as an associate at two large law firms in Boston.
In addition to her continuing public work as a consultant to various governmental entities and to companies seeking to do work with the government, Ms. Rollins is currently a member of the Advisory Board of the Rappaport Center for Law and Public Policy at Boston College Law School. She is a past President of the Massachusetts Black Lawyers Association, has served as an elected member of the Boston Bar Association Council, and is the recipient of numerous awards, including the 40-Under-40 Award from the Boston Business Journal and a TOYL Award (Ten Outstanding Young Leaders) from the Greater Boston Chamber of Commerce. In February, 2016, Ms. Rollins completed an intense, accelerated, six-month Executive Management and Leadership Program at Harvard Business School. She is the very proud mom of Peyton, her 12-year-old daughter.
Governor Charles Baker’s Appointee, Member
Robert A. Cerasoli has a 44-year record of outstanding public service. He has provided major contributions to responsible professional ethical conduct in the Commonwealth of Massachusetts, the City of New Orleans, Louisiana, the national Inspectors General community, and in thirteen foreign nations.
Cerasoli, a native of Quincy, Massachusetts, received his Bachelor of Arts in Government and Public Administration in 1969 from The American University. In 1988, Cerasoli received a Master of Public Administration from Harvard University. In 2015, he received a Master of Arts in Conflict Resolution and Reconciliation from Abilene Christian University. He is a Certified Inspector General (CIG), Certified Inspector General Investigator (CIGI), Certified Inspector General Auditor (CIGA), Certified Fraud Examiner (CFE), and Certified Government Financial Manager (CGFM).
Cerasoli possesses three decades of teaching experience in ethics, auditing, oversight, financial management, and anti-corruption practices. He has taught courses at Bridgewater State University, Eastern Nazarene College, Newbury College, Quincy College, New Hampshire Community Technical College, and for the Association of Inspectors General at American University in Washington, D. C., and John Jay College of Criminal Justice in New York City.
Cerasoli combines teaching experience with decades of practical experience in the field. He served as a Representative in the Massachusetts House of Representatives from 1975 to 1991. He served as the second Inspector General for the State of Massachusetts for two five-year terms, the maximum allowed by law, from 1991 to 2001. The Massachusetts Inspector General was the first statewide Inspector General position created in the U.S. and the first Inspector General position created outside of the federal system. He also served as the first Inspector General of New Orleans, Louisiana from 2007 to 2009, where he set up the office from the ground up after Hurricane Katrina.
As one of the original founders and charter members of the Association of Inspectors General (AIG), Cerasoli literally wrote the book—he proposed, developed, and co-authored the Certified Inspector General (CIG) concept and the creation of the Principles and Standards for Offices of Inspectors General, called the Green Book. This book was used as a basis for the creation of the Inspector General office in New Orleans.
Senate President Stan Rosenberg’s Appointee, Member
Mr. Wilson received his Bachelor’s degree from the University of Colorado at Boulder and a Master’s degree from The George Washington University. Mr. Wilson has extensive political, government, nonprofit, and communications experience at the state, federal, and municipal level. He has previously worked as the Legislative Director for the Massachusetts House Committee on Ways and Means, Vice President of Communications at the Liberty Square Group, and most recently as Communications Director for Jeff McCormick’s gubernatorial campaign.
Speaker Robert DeLeo’s Appointee, Member
John Fernandes is a former State Representative, elected in 2006. He represented the 10th Worcester District. He has been self-employed as an attorney since 1982, and currently maintains his office in a building he owns at 12 Main Street in Milford. He represents clients on matters large and small in the areas of real estate, personal injury, auto accidents, business organization, criminal defense, civil litigation, and elder law. He is experienced, effective, and compassionate in his representation of clients from all walks of life.
Mr. Fernandes received a Bachelors Degree in Political Science from the University of Massachusetts in 1974, and a juris doctor degree from Suffolk University, from where he graduated cum laude in 1982. Mr. Fernandes resides in Milford with his wife, Jennifer DiMola, and their two children.
Mr.Fernandes has a long history of service to his community. He was elected a member of the Milford Board of Selectmen at the age of twenty-two. He also served for nine years as a member of the Milford School Committee. Previous to that, he served for seven years as a member of School Committee for the Blackstone Valley Regional Vocational Technical High School.