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Gov. Baker Plans To Hit Reset Button With DA Rollins On Monday

BOSTON (CBS) - Governor Charlie Baker spent part of Saturday at a youth basketball tournament in Roxbury. It was a brief respite from a bitter political back and forth with Suffolk County District Attorney Rachael Rollins, which perhaps took on a more cooperative tone when Baker called Rollins this morning.

"I think it was a very constructive and helpful conversation, and I think we're going to try and hit the reset button and start again on Monday," Baker said.

Charlie Baker
Massachusetts Governor Charlie Baker. (Photo by Darren McCollester/Getty Images for DraftKings)

Rollins points to studies finding that arrest and incarceration are not effective deterrents for minor crimes, So, her criminal justice plan calls for a halt to prosecuting 15 crimes, including trespassing, shoplifting and drug possession.

Rollins stood firm Saturday morning. "I don't regret anything I say. I think long and hard about it."

Things heated up when Baker's public safety secretary, Thomas Turco, sent Rollins a letter saying some of her policies "seem to dismiss categorically the legitimate public safety concerns that individual cases will surely present in Suffolk County."

Rachael Rollins
Rachael Rollins (WBZ-TV)

"My concerns haven't changed. The issues that were raised in Secretary Turco's memo are ones that I think there should be a dialogue with the DA's office about," Baker said.

"This a fear mongering. We have a 66-page memo that was filled with data and evidence and examples. The letter I received had not a single fact or piece of evidence supporting it," Rollins said. "Had Secretary Turco picked up the phone and called me and showed me the respect I think he would have shown the mayor or any other DA prior to me, we would have absolutely had a conversation."

Baker says that conversation will begin Monday. "I think all of us share the same goal here which is to recognize and appreciate the fact that the criminal justice system has flaws that need to be dealt with and fixed."

Mayor Marty Walsh had no comment on the situation.

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