ADA Cindy Pepyne honored by Massachusetts District Attorneys Association with Spotlight Award
This year’s recipient of the Spotlight Award for the Northwestern District Attorney’s Office is Assistant District Attorney Cindy Pepyne, a team player who has achieved exceptional results on behalf of the Commonwealth. Her work in the Appellate Division this past year resulted in several published decisions that not only preserved hard fought for convictions – but also had a significant impact in the development of the law. (See highlights below.)
The Spotlight Award is given annually to an assistant district attorney from each District Attorney’s Office in recognition of his or her outstanding service, spirit, and professionalism.
Particular areas where ADA Pepyne has expertise include search and seizure law, OUI and drug prosecutions and selective enforcement. This expertise enables her to provide invaluable assistance to local law police officers on search warrant applications, and with charging or procedural questions.
In addition to being an experienced and accomplished appellate attorney, Pepyne also serves as the Northwestern District Attorney’s Office Public Records Officer and responds to any and all subpoenas. She is co-chair of our training committee, heads up our brief bank and is our Law Librarian. She is also always willing to play the position of “utility infielder” by covering in the District Courts whenever she is asked to help out.
“As the consummate team player – she has provided invaluable assistance to ADAs and staff at all levels of our office,” Sullivan said. “She treats everyone that she works with on ‘both sides of the V.’ – with kindness, patience and respect. We are truly fortunate to have such an exceptional attorney and person as a member of our staff.”
• Commonwealth v. Soldega, 80 Mass. App. Ct. 853 (2011): OUI case in which the defendant was operating an ATV on a public highway. Defendant claimed that the ATV was a recreational vehicle and not a motor vehicle subject to G.L. c, 90 §24(1)(a). In its decision affirming the OUI conviction – the Appeals Court held that the ATV in question was in fact a “motor vehicle”;
• Commonwealth v. Shangkuan, 459 Mass. 1111 (2011): The defendant was charged with violating an abuse prevention order after being served with it in New Jersey. The Commonwealth sought to use the return of service as evidence that the defendant knew of the order. The defendant argued that the return is inadmissible hearsay- and that its introduction, absent the opportunity to cross-x the N.J. police officer who signed it, violates his confrontation rights. The SJC determined that the return of service is admissible as an official or public record and because (unlike the drug certificate in Melendez-Diaz) it is not created solely for use in a pending criminal prosecution – it is not testimonial for purposes of the confrontation clause.