CPCS MANAGEMENT TEAM
44 Bromfield Street
Boston, MA 02108
Anthony J. Benedetti, Chief Counsel
Anthony J. Benedetti is Chief Counsel of the Committee for Public Counsel Services (CPCS), the Massachusetts agency responsible for providing legal services to those who are unable to afford it in cases where there is a constitutional or statutory right to an attorney. After graduating from Boston College and Suffolk University Law School, he worked as a public defender trial lawyer in the CPCS Brockton office representing clients in the Plymouth County District and Superior Courts. In 1998, Attorney Benedetti became the CPCS General Counsel, responsible for providing legal counsel and support to the Chief Counsel, and maintaining a leadership role in carrying out of the agency’s fiscal, human resources, and operational responsibilities, internally and externally. In addition, he was the agency representative before the executive, legislative and judicial branches on budget and legislative issues. He was selected as Chief Counsel in 2010.
Attorney Benedetti is an active long-time member of the Massachusetts Bar Association and Boston Bar Association, as well as the Massachusetts Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers. On the national level, Anthony is a member of the National Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers, the National Legal Aid and Defender Association (NLADA) and the National Association for Public Defense.
Lisa Bacon is the Director of Human Resources (HR) Management. Prior to coming to CPCS, Lisa served as the Associate Director of HR and as Interim Vice-President for HR, Labor Relations, Compliance & Affirmative Action/Title IX at Mass Bay Community College. Before that, Lisa worked at the Massachusetts Executive Office of Health and Human Services (EOHHS) as the HR Director for the Lemuel Shattuck Hospital. She has another ten years of experience as a Diversity Officer and ADA Coordinator for several EOHHS agencies, including the Department of Children & Families; Lisa also served five years in a similar role at American Friends Service Committee in Philadelphia before moving to Boston. Lisa first worked in state government as an MBE/WBE/Affirmative Market Program Compliance Officer with the Division of Capital Asset Management & Maintenance (DCAMM). She began her career as a Grants Manager at the Bread and Roses Community Fund in Philadelphia, working with community-based groups organizing for social change. The first in her family to graduate from college, Lisa received her Bachelor of Arts in Speech Communication from West Chester University in Pennsylvania and, twelve years later, her Juris Doctor degree from Northeastern University School of Law,
Joshua Dohan is the Director of The Youth Advocacy Division (YAD). Joshua Dohan became a public defender in 1988 and joined YAD (at the time the Youth Advocacy Project), at its inception as it first staff attorney in 1992 and assumed the role of Director in 1999. Mr. Dohan is on the Board of Directors of Citizens for Juvenile Justice and is President of the Board for the Youth Advocacy Foundation. He is a member of the Community Advisory Board of the Institute on Race and Justice (Northeastern University) and a member of the Advisory Committee for the Brennan Center’s Community Oriented Defender Network. He also serves on the Institutional Review Board for Tufts University. In 2001, YAD became the first Juvenile Defender organization to win the Clara Shortridge Foltz award for outstanding achievement from the national Legal Aid and Defender Association. In 2011, Massachusetts was recognized as a Champion for Justice by the MacArthur Foundation for creating one of the first statewide juvenile defender departments in the country.
Michael Dsida is Deputy Chief Counsel with the Committee for Public Counsel Services, overseeing CPCS’s Children and Family Law Division. Mike is a graduate of the University of Chicago (1983) and Harvard Law School (1987). His career has focused primarily on advocacy on behalf of clients in state intervention/child welfare matters. Beginning in 1988, Mike worked for the Cook County Public Guardian, representing children in Chicago’s Juvenile Court. His work included class litigation in response to systemic problems relating to sibling visits and placement, permanency planning, and caseworker assignment policies and practices. One of his cases was Suter v. Artist M., 503 U.S. 347 (1992), in which Mike sought to have the Supreme Court uphold the enforceability of federal requirements regarding family preservation and reunification. In 1995, Mike established the Civitas ChildLaw Clinic at the Loyola University School of Law, one of the country’s first law school clinics to focus on state intervention/child welfare matters. Mike also worked as a Senior Legislative Attorney at the Wisconsin Legislative Reference Bureau. Mike joined CPCS as Deputy Chief Counsel in 2006.
Randy Gioia is the Deputy Chief Counsel of the Public Defender Division of the Committee for Public Counsel Services. As Deputy Chief Counsel, he oversees the operation of public defender staff offices throughout the Commonwealth of Massachusetts. Prior to his appointment as the Deputy Chief Counsel in 2012, he was the Attorney-in-Charge of the Roxbury Defenders Unit, a superior court public defender unit. He joined the public defender’s office in 2010, after spending thirty-three years in private practice as a criminal defense attorney on both the federal and state level, including the trial of numerous first-degree murder cases.
In 2002 he received the Committee for Public Counsel Services Edward J. Duggan Award. In 2006 he was recognized by the Massachusetts Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers for “tireless and courageous advocacy”.
He has served as co-chair of the Criminal Law Section of the Boston Bar Association 1993-1995, a director of the Massachusetts Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers 1996-1999, an elected member of the Boston Bar Association Council Executive Committee 2007-2010. In 2009 he was a member of the Boston Bar Association Task Force on Wrongful Convictions, and in 2017 he was a member of the Boston Bar Association Criminal Justice Reform Working Group. He is currently a member of the Massachusetts Supreme Judicial Court Committee on Grand Jury Proceedings. He is also currently the National Legal Aid & Defender Association liaison to the American Bar Association Task Force on Discovery Standards.
Randy received a B.A. from Columbia University in 1974 and a J.D. from Boston University School of Law in 1977.
Lisa Hewitt is the General Counsel for the Committee for Public Counsel Services (CPCS). Lisa also worked for CPCS as General Counsel and Legislative Counsel from 1986 to 1998.
Before joining CPCS in 1986, Lisa worked as the Chief of Staff for the Massachusetts House Committee on the Judiciary, as a research analyst for the Committee on Criminal Justice and as a staff member of the Special Commission on Uniform Sentencing and Revision of the Criminal Code.
Lisa left CPCS in 1998 to serve as the Executive Director of the Massachusetts Academy of Trial Attorneys (MATA), and maintained a leadership role on behalf of MATA in coalitions with other consumer and civil justice bar associations. She also maintained a general law practice while representing clients in government affairs before state and municipal adjudicatory boards, and as a registered lobbyist she has lobbied for community organizations and citizens’ groups initiatives and funding. She has drafted and advocated for amendment to town ordinances, secured state and local funding for community projects, and managed the press in support of key community initiatives.
Lisa earned her B.A. from Stonehill College and her J.D. degree from Suffolk University Law School.
Debra S. Krupp, Director of Administration & Operations
Debra S. Krupp is the Director of Administration and Operations. With the Chief Counsel she is responsible for the management of day to day operations. In addition, Debra is the Strategic Planning Project Manager and manages numerous other agency projects. Debra began her career at CPCS as a trial attorney in Plymouth and Essex Counties, where she handled serious felony matters. Later, Debra joined what is now known as the Criminal Defense Training Unit, first as a staff attorney and later as the Training Director. Following a leave of absence, Debra returned to CPCS as a member of the CPCS Appeals Unit where she primarily represented defendants on direct appeal of criminal convictions. In 2010 Debra became the first Director of the CPCS Innocence Program. The CPCS Innocence Program seeks to exonerate defendants who are actually innocent of the crimes of which they stand convicted. Debra became the first CPCS Training Coordinator in 2012, responsible for managing the allocation of training resources for all staff and private counsel, coordinating the delivery of training by the criminal, juvenile, children and family law and mental health practice areas, and collaborating with the CPCS Training Directors and others to produce long range strategic training plans and budgets.
Mark Larsen has been the Director of the Mental Health Litigation Division since 2012 after practicing for many years in New Hampshire. Over the years, he has handled a broad array of cases in the civil and criminal areas, including felonies, appeals, neglect and abuse, termination of parental rights, and civil commitments. Prior to coming to CPCS he worked as a managing attorney for the New Hampshire Public Defender and supervised the defense of civil commitments of allegedly sexually violent persons. He has served in many bar capacities including Editor of the New Hampshire Bar Journal. He is a graduate of Beloit College and the University of California – Hastings College of the Law. He is admitted to practice in Massachusetts, California, New Hampshire and Vermont.
Kevin Lucchetti is the Chief Financial Officer. Prior to joining us at CPCS, Kevin served as the Director of Administration and Finance for the Massachusetts Department of Health, Bureau of Health Care Safety and Quality. Prior to that, he spent twelve years in the private sector as a Finance and Purchasing Director and a Senior Financial Analyst. He began his career in state government, first as a Budget Analyst for the House Ways and Means Committee and as a Senior Budget Analyst for the Massachusetts Water Resource Authority. Kevin has a long history and strong background in financial management.
Daniel M. Saroff is the Chief Information Officer for the Committee for Public Counsel Services. Mr. Saroff joined CPCS in September of 2014 after a career in technology consulting for non-profit, private, commercial, Federal and State clients, and as an IT director for private sector companies. Before his technology career, Mr. Saroff co-founded a neuroscience research laboratory and spent over a decade in Alzheimer’s research. He received a double Masters in Business and Information Systems from Boston University, and spends much of his free time caring for two slightly spoiled Labrador Retrievers.
Vanessa Vélez oversees 80% of the state-wide legal representation of poor clients by the private counsel in the following panels: Criminal Trial and Support, Criminal Appeals and Post-Conviction, and the Alternative Commitment and Registration Support Unit. In addition, she oversees the Immigration Impact Unit and the Forensics Resources Unit.
Prior to her appointment as Deputy Chief Counsel, Attorney Vélez was the Attorney in Charge of the Boston District and Municipal Court Office, a public defenders division of CPCS. She also worked in the public and private sectors litigating criminal and civil cases in the Massachusetts’ district, municipal, superior and probate and family courts. She was a member of the CPCS’ criminal appeals and post-conviction panel. She also represented clients through the Volunteer Lawyer’s Program of the Boston Bar Association.
Attorney Vélez has actively participated in the Homeless Court Project (HCP) and in the Boston Veterans Treatment Court (BVTC). The HCP was created to reduce legal barriers faced by homeless individuals by expeditiously resolving outstanding warrants for non-violent and misdemeanor offenses. The BVTC serves veterans who are struggling with addiction, mental health issues, traumatic brain injuries, and other co-occurring disorders.
Attorney Vélez has been a faculty member in the Trial Advocacy Workshop of Harvard Law School. She has mentored 12th grade students from the Chelsea High School through the Pathways Mentorship Program, which is designed to help students prepare for college and future careers. She also mentored law students with the Boston Lawyers Group (BLG), a nonprofit organization that promotes diversity in the Boston Legal Community.