Former Sheriff Seeking County Treasurer Seat


A former sheriff of Norfolk County has entered the race for county treasurer and will face a member of the Quincy City Council in a Democratic primary election in September.

Michael Bellotti

Michael Bellotti, who was the sheriff of Norfolk County from 1999 until late 2018, has qualified for the September ballot, according to the secretary of state’s office. A Squantum resident, Bellotti served six years in the state House of Representatives prior to becoming sheriff. He resigned from the sheriff’s job to become interim president of Quincy College, a job he left in November.

Bellotti could not be reached for comment Thursday morning.

His opponent in the Democratic primary will be Ward 2 Councillor Brad Croall, who has also qualified for the ballot. Croall, a Penn’s Hill resident, has served on the Quincy City Council since 2012. He was the council president in 2018 and 2019.

The incumbent treasurer, James Timilty, is not running this year. No Republican candidates are seeking the position.

This fall’s ballot will also include a special election to fill the remainder of Bellotti’s term as sheriff, plus contests for register of probate and county commissioner.

All four candidates who entered the special election for sheriff have qualified the ballot.

Those include Jerry McDermott, a Westwood Republican who Gov. Charlie Baker named sheriff following Bellotti’s resignation.

Three Democrats have qualified for the race as well and will face off in September. They are James Coughlin, a retired State Police detective from Dedham; Patrick McDermott of Quincy, the county’s register of probate; and former Quincy mayor William Phelan.

Five candidates, all Democrats, have qualified for the ballot in the race to replace Patrick McDermott as register of probate. They are: Colleen Brierley, a Norwood attorney; Noel DiBona, a Quincy city councillor; Kathryn Hubley, a member of the Quincy School Committee; Courtney Madden, a Quincy attorney; and Michael Walsh, a Westwood selectman.

Two candidates have qualified for the ballot in the race for county commissioner.

They are incumbent Joseph Shea, a Quincy Democrat and former city clerk, and Brookline Selectwoman Heather Hamilton, an unenrolled candidate.

Braintree Town Councillor Charles Ryan, a Democrat, has collected enough signatures to appear on the ballot but still has to file a receipt from the State Ethics Commission confirming that he has filed his statement of financial interest before he can be officially on the ballot, according to the secretary of state’s office. Two other Democrats, Dedham Selectman Dennis Guilfoyle and Canton attorney Richard R. Staiti of have yet to file.

Candidates have until June 2 to file with the secretary of state’s office.

Norwood Atty. Colleen Brierley Candidate For Norfolk Register Of Probate

Attorney Colleen Brierley of Norwood announces her candidacy for Norfolk County Register of Probate and Family Court.

The seat is being vacated by three term Patrick McDermott of Quincy and there are currently five candidates in the race.

Colleen Brierley

Brierley said, ”I am uniquely qualified to be the next Register of Probate because I am the only candidate with over 30 years of experience working for children and families before the Probate and the Juvenile Courts of Massachusetts.” A Democrat, Brierley is seeking the Democratic nomination for Norfolk Register of Probate in this fall’s state election.

Brierley said she learned early on in her career that the courts play a powerful role in people’s lives.

Brierley said, “As a probation aide, social worker, youth advocate and now as an attorney, I have zealously and compassionately helped people navigate the court system to find solutions.”

Brierley said, “I know that the Register of Probate can make a positive impact and that is why I’m in this race. Programs aimed at support and connections to treatment are one of my top priorities. Other programs that I will champion as Register of Probate are the Lawyer of the Day Program, the Attorneys Representing Children Program (ARC) and Domestic Violence Ended (DOVE). The next Register needs to be someone who understands how the courts work and that life circumstances can bring all of us to the court.”

“The Probate and Family Court touches all of our lives during times of change, crisis, uncertainty and joy. The court hears cases ranging from change of a name, divorce, probate of an estate, guardianship, conservatorship, and adoption.” Brierley said. “The Probate Court truly is the people’s court and the Register of Probate is an elected position within that courthouse.”

“During times of change, whether they be devastating or joyful, leadership within the court is necessary to reduce delay and anxiety. I believe that the Register of Probate works directly for the people within the 28 cities and towns that make up Norfolk County. My experience makes me the best candidate for this leadership role.”

For the past 22 years, Colleen Brierley has operated her private law practice in Norwood. Brierley is also co-founder and manager of the nonprofit, Journey to Parenthood. Journey to Parenthood assists people across the country with the high costs of adoption and fertility treatments.

Of great importance to Brierley is the impact of addiction and the opioid crisis on families.

“Through my work in the courts, I have seen how this insidious drug affects families. I have also felt the heartache within my own family.” Brierley’s oldest brother battled a heroin addiction before passing away in 2015.

Colleen and her husband Bob met at Norwood High School and all five of their children attended and continue to attend the Norwood Public Schools. Brierley and her husband, who first became parents in the 1990s, have adopted three children through the Massachusetts foster care system.

Sheriff Candidate Phelan Postponing Large Campaign Events Due To COVID-19 Pandemic

Former Quincy mayor and Democratic candidate for sheriff of Norfolk County Bill Phelan announces his campaign will postpone all large events in public spaces in light of the COVID-19 pandemic.

Phelan cited the need to prioritize public safety and committed to closely follow CDC, local and state guidance regarding upcoming events. The Phelan campaign advised members of the community to follow the safety guidelines issued by DPH, CDC and WHO.

“Our campaign is taking this public health crisis very seriously. Effective immediately, our campaign will postpone all large events in public spaces and carefully evaluate any other upcoming events and closely follow CDC, local and state guidance,” said Phelan. “We’re in uncharted territory in terms of campaigning during a pandemic, but please know that I am putting public safety above all else. I’ll be sending updates on how supporters can stay engaged with the campaign effort, but for now, let’s focus on being safe and protecting our loved ones.”

In addition, Phelan also called on supporters to be particularly mindful of those in the community that are the most vulnerable to this outbreak, including, Low-wage workers, students, small business owners, immigrant communities and senior citizens.

Bill Phelan is a former School Committee member, three-termn mayor of Quincy and attorney. Learn more at


Courtney Madden Democratic Candidate For Norfolk County Register Of Probate

Quincy resident, attorney and community strategist Courtney Madden announces she is running for the open Register of Probate and Family Court seat in Norfolk County. The seat is being vacated by Patrick McDermott.

Courtney Madden

“The Office of the Register of Probate and Family Court serves a vital role in our community, protecting our most vulnerable residents in some of their most difficult times of need. That’s why I’m tossing my hat into the ring” for Register of Probate, Madden said in her announcement release.

“After careful consideration, I am announcing my candidacy for Register of Probate because families in need deserve to have a system and government that works for us. When a loved one passes away, or families require government intervention, residents of Norfolk County need to know they have an advocate on their side who is dedicated to cutting red tape, ensuring fiscal responsibility and modernizing the Office of Probate and Family Courts in Norfolk County to better serve residents.

“I am proud to announce my candidacy for Register of Probate because all Norfolk County families deserve dignity and respect when entering the Family and Probate courthouse,” Madden said. “I am running, not because I want a title, but because this is home and home matters. My professional career has always been focused on bringing people together, empowering them, and most importantly building bridges so that government can be a partner in solving problems and helping families – and not an obstacle. Family and Probate court touches all our lives and I am ready to be your Register who knows how to navigate judicial waters and will always put Norfolk residents first.”

Madden is a seasoned political professional and lawyer focused on increasing civic engagement and empowering everyday citizens. As executive director for New Leaders Council, Courtney manages the recruitment, training, and promotion of young leaders in over fifty markets around the country.

While speaking to voters at a recent kitchen table talk in Quincy, Madden explained the importance of the role of Register of Probate and Family Courts telling attendees, “The Register of Probate and Family courts is a servant leader position and it’s where I can contribute the most to the community I care so deeply about. It’s where my talent for building coalitions and public private partnerships can fill in the gaps in resources to our families. The Register of Probate needs to be a leader, a servant, and an advocate. I am all of the above.”

Madden, a Democrat, is asking voters for their support in the primary election on Sept. 1st “because this election is about protecting families and Norfolk County needs a tireless advocate who will always put the people of Norfolk County first.”

Learn more about Courtney Madden and her campaign by visiting her Facebook page @MaddenforProbate.

Madden is the fourth candidate to take out nomination papers for Register of Probate. The others are Quincy City Councillor Noel DiBona, Quincy School Committee member Kathryn Hubley and Michael Walsh, a Westwood selectman.

Kathryn Hubley Democratic Candidate For Register Of Probate

Quincy School Committee Member Kathryn Hubley announces her candidacy for Norfolk County Register of Probate.

Kathryn Hubley

If elected, Hubley would be the first woman to hold the office since 1954. Hubley says her experiences as a foster parent, teacher, family advocate, school committee member, and office support specialist make her uniquely qualified to serve in the position. She says her background brings a perspective that the Register of Probate position hasn’t seen in decades.

“The Register of Probate helps people who are dealing with challenging times, such as divorce, adoption, custody arrangements, and bereavement,” said Hubley. “The job requires an empathetic, personal perspective and a true understanding of these challenges.”

Among these challenges, foster care and adoption are deeply personal to Hubley and her family. When she was young, her parents opened their home to children in need, which inspired her to become a foster parent. In addition, her husband, Walter, was adopted through the foster care system. His parents similarly opened their home to dozens of foster children over the years. Hubley says their upbringings made foster care a very natural decision.

“Families come together in many different ways and every family deserves to be supported with care and respect,” Hubley said. “I will work to ensure that the Probate Court serves the families of Norfolk County with compassion and efficiency. At the same time, I will aim to increase the availability of education on important topics such as elder abuse and domestic violence. At some time in their life, most people will need a strong level of support from the office.”

Hubley says that she commends the job that the current Register of Probate, Patrick McDermott, and his team have done over his 19-year tenure and is looking to build upon the work they have put in place.

“Patrick and his staff have done a great job and I know he’ll leave behind a stellar operation, but there’s always more we can do,” said Hubley.

Hubley was first elected to the Quincy School Committee in 2011 and topped the ticket in her re-election bid for a third term last November. She says that if elected as Register of Probate she will fulfill her commitment to the Quincy Public Schools and complete her third term which expires at the end of 2023.

Before serving on School Committee, Hubley was a teacher of preschool through kindergarten for nine years where she achieved a Director II certification from the Department of Early Education and Care. She has a Bachelor of Science in Psychology and an Associate of Science in Early Childhood Education as well as coursework in domestic violence. Hubley also worked as an office support specialist and other administrative roles over the past several years. She lives in Quincy with her husband Walter and their children Victoria, a senior at Lesley University and Nathan, a senior at North Quincy High School.

Hubley says she is energized and excited to meet voters from across the county over the next eight months. Hubley said, “There’s a long journey ahead and I’m looking forward to connecting with the voters of Norfolk County to earn their vote and the opportunity to serve.”

A lifelong Democrat, Hubley will run in the primary election on Tuesday, Sept. 1st. The Committee to Elect Kathryn Hubley will be holding a campaign kickoff event at Cagney’s Pub at 214 Washington St. in Quincy on Thursday, March 5th from 5:30  to 8 p.m. You can also support the campaign via PayPal at

Brad Croall Democratic Candidate For County Treasurer

Quincy city councillor Brad Croall announces he is running for Norfolk Country treasurer.

Brad Croall

Croall has served on the Quincy City Council for nearly 10 years and just completed his term as council president. He has worked his entire professional career in the financial services industry.

“The combination of his extensive experience in both the public and private sector makes Councillor Croall uniquely qualified for the position of Norfolk County treasurer,” said Quincy City Council President Nina Liang. “He will serve the county with integrity and make the position more than just balancing a check book.”

Croall lives in Quincy, where he grew up, with his wife Lori Croall and their two young sons.

“I am running for Norfolk County treasurer because I believe that this office can do more to help people in the county,” Croall said. “Through increased community engagement and implementing programs around financial literacy, as county treasurer, I am committed to making a difference in the everyday lives of the people I will serve while protecting the interests of the pensioners who depend on their retirement paycheck.”
Croall added, “The county treasurer’s role would allow me to bridge my financial services expertise with my unwavering passion for public service. I look forward to meeting folks over the next several months as our campaign kicks into high gear.”

Croall will be seeking the Democratic nomination in the race for county treasurer. If elected county treasurer this fall, Croall said he would fulfill his current term as Ward 2 city councillor which expires at the end of 2021.

To donate and keep up with campaign updates visit:

County Commissioner Francis O’Brien Not Seeking Re-Election

Francis W. O’Brien, chairman of the Norfolk County Commissioners, announced Jan. 29 that he will not be seeking another term serving Norfolk County as one of its three county commissioners.

Norfolk County Commissioner Francis O’Brien is not seeking re-election this fall. Courtesy Photo

Addressing a crowded room filled with his family, Norfolk County elected officials and county department heads, O’Brien announced his decision to not seek re-election later this year and reflected on his lifetime of public service with gratitude.

“It’s been one of the greatest honors of my life to serve my hometown of Dedham and the communities of Norfolk County,” O’Brien said. “I’m very proud of our investments at the Norfolk County Agricultural High School, in our courthouses, and in all the County programs and services relied upon by Norfolk County residents and communities. Public service is about helping people, and I’ve always believed in doing just that.”

Voters will elect two Norfolk County commissioners this fall, with one of the seats now being vacated by O’Brien. The other seat on the ballot this fall is held by current commissioner and former Quincy city clerk Joseph Shea. Shea, a Quincy resident, is seeking re-election this fall. The other seat is held by Milton Democrat Peter Collins. Collins is not up for re-election this fall.

County commissioners must be from separate municipalities in Norfolk County, meaning two (or three) commissioners cannot hail from the same city or town. So, if a Quincy resident were to run for county commissioner this fall, he or she would be running against Shea, not for the open seat being vacated by O’Brien.

A lifelong Dedham resident, O’Brien was appointed as a Norfolk County commissioner in 2002. He was elected to his first four-year term in 2004 and re-elected in 2008, 2012 and 2016.

Earlier this month he was unanimously elected by his colleagues to chair the county’s elected executive body for his 12th consecutive one-year term.

Shea noted that he first met O’Brien more than 40 years ago when they worked together for the Massachusetts Bay Transportation Authority (MBTA).

“Fran O’Brien is a great colleague, a true gentleman and a class act,” added Shea. “His lifetime of public service, as we know now through his work as a county commissioner, has always been about helping the little guy, and I’m going to miss working with him.”

“Commissioner O’Brien has been a friend and role model since I was first elected,” said State Rep. Paul McMurtry (D-Dedham), “He exemplifies the true meaning of a public servant with his more than 60 years of service to our town, county and Commonwealth. He leaves a legacy of making a difference and always helping those in need. I wish him continued happiness in his retirement.”

Norfolk County Clerk of Courts Walter Timilty described O’Brien as a “lifelong friend and partner in public service who always keeps his focus on helping those most in need in his communities.”

Timilty added that he looks forward to continue working with O’Brien as the commissioner serves out the remainder of his term.

A graduate of Dedham High School (’49) and a United States Navy veteran, O’Brien was a Dedham firefighter for 12 years.  He later served as legislative liaison for the MBTA for 23 years. O’Brien served as a member of the Dedham Board of Selectmen for 13 years, including 6 as chairman. He has also served as a member of the Dedham Charter Commission and the Board of Assessors.

O’Brien says that one of his greatest honors was having the Selectmen’s Hearing/Meeting Room at Dedham Town Hall dedicated in his name in 2002.  He remains a fixture in the Dedham community as a member of the Dedham High School Sports Hall of Fame and as a strong supporter of youth and adult sports in the community. He is active in Dedham High School and Pop Warner football, Dedham Youth Hockey, Dedham Little League, and the Dedham Men’s Softball League.


O’Brien is also a lifetime member of American Legion Post 18 and Lodge 10 of the Boston Elks.


His term as a Norfolk County Commissioner expires in early January 2021.

Noel DiBona Democratic Candidate For Register Of Probate

City Councillor-at-Large Noel DiBona officially announces his candidacy for Register of Probate of Norfolk County.

Noel DiBona

DiBona, who began his political career in 2013 as a Quincy School Committee member, has served as a Quincy city councillor-at-large since 2016, and has been elected to three consecutive terms.  If elected as the Register of Probate, DiBona said he will continue to serve in his councilor-at-large seat and complete the remainder of his current two-year term.

DiBona has been a small business owner in Quincy for the last 24 years, managing Russ DiBona & Son Landscape & Snow.  DiBona graduated from Quincy High School in 1993, and holds a bachelor’s degree in sociology and business administration from the University of Massachusetts-Boston.

DiBona has been employed by the Norfolk County Sheriff’s office since 2016, where he currently serves as re-entry program coordinator for inmates.  DiBona previously served as a senior community services coordinator for the Sheriff’s office, assisting senior citizens in scam and fraud prevention at facilities for the elderly throughout Norfolk County.  If elected as the Register of the Probate, DiBona said he plans to improve all services provided by the court, and pledges to be a consistent strong advocate for attorneys, judges, clients, and citizens.

“I am seeking the seat as the Register of Probate of Norfolk County because I have a strong desire to serve and assist others.  Virtually everyone will encounter an experience with probate, whether it is a birth, a death, or divorce.  Your experience with the court should be managed with compassion and empathy.  I will apply my business management background to the official record keeping and customer service areas of the court to ensure that the public always has the best experience possible, especially during tough times,”  DiBona said.

“The decision to run for Norfolk County Register of Probate has been a family decision.  Following discussions with my wife, Niamh, and other family members we collaboratively decided that I should seek the seat and they are all 100% behind the decision,” DiBona added.

DiBona will be running as a Democrat.  The primary election is set for Tuesday, Sept. 1st and if successful in the primary, the final election will be on Nov. 3rd.

The Committee to Elect Noel DiBona will be holding a campaign kickoff event at Alba Restaurant at 1486 Hancock St. in Quincy Center on Thursday, Feb. 27th from 5 to 8 p.m. Members of the public are encouraged to attend.

Register Of Probate Patrick McDermott Candidate For Norfolk County Sheriff

Patrick McDermott officially launched his campaign for Norfolk County Sheriff Nov. 13 at the Quincy of Sons of Italy.  McDermott, who has served as Norfolk County Register of Probate since 2003, was also presented with an endorsement from the County Corrections Officers Association (CCOA), the union representing the  Non-Supervisory Corrections Officers at the county jail, that evening.

Patrick McDermott

“I am running to be your Sheriff because I believe that public safety begins in the community, and that the Sheriff’s office can play a greater role in supporting local law enforcement efforts throughout Norfolk County,” said McDermott, a Quincy Democrat.  “We need to better address the issues, like addiction, homelessness and education, to stop the cycle before people end up serving time in the county system. And if they are incarcerated, we must have the innovative treatment programs in place so that once they have served their time, they have the tools and resources to re-enter our communities and stay out of trouble,” said McDermott as he address his family and friends; adding, “For those who have committed a crime, it is important that the county jail run effectively, efficiently, allowing prisoners to serve their sentences while keeping the surrounding communities and the employees of the jail safe.”

McDermott added, “As an attorney and Norfolk County Register of Probate for the past 16 years, I believe I bring a unique combination of legal and public service experience, as well as a knowledge of Norfolk County. That experience will allow me to bring a level of expertise to effectively expand the role of the Sheriff’s office in order to institute better community prevention programs to keep people out of jail, reduce recidivism and ensure those who have been convicted serve their time.”

Just before making his official announcement, McDermott was presented with a letter of endorsement from the CCOA.   In their letter, Gerald DeAngelis, the Chairman of CCOA/NEPBA 575 stated, “Your vision on security and public safety within the Norfolk Sheriff’s Office and the Correctional Facilities has given us great assurance in your ability to lead us forward.  We believe your election to become the next Sheriff of Norfolk County will guide us in the right direction. We are confident that with your leadership and proven success; you have the ability and promise to succeed as our Sheriff.”

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Former Mayor William Phelan Candidate For Norfolk County Sheriff

Former Quincy mayor Bill Phelan announced Jan. 15 that he has joined the race for Norfolk County Sheriff.

William Phelan

In his announcement, Phelan discussed his excitement to travel across the county to personally speak with voters. Phelan also highlighted the need to address recidivism, the opioid crisis and addiction treatment, inmate wellbeing, and top-notch training for corrections officers.

“My career in public service has been about helping people, that’s why I’m running for sheriff. My campaign is focused on bringing practical reforms to our county’s criminal justice system,” Phelan said. “When we alleviate the causes of recidivism, we give the people in our care a chance to flourish upon reentry while also keeping our community safe.”

Phelan served three terms as mayor of Quincy — from 2002 to 2008 — and was on the school committee for two years before that. As mayor, Phelan implemented a nationally recognized 10-year plan to end homelessness. Phelan also kept taxes low while significantly raising teacher salaries, instituting city-wide full-day kindergarten, and reducing class sizes, he stated in his campaign announcement.

Phelan, a Quincy Democrat, will hold his campaign launch party at the Neighborhood Club of Quincy, 27 Glendale Rd, Quincy., on Jan. 30th at 6 p.m. The event is free and open to the press and public.