Harnais to serve as interim head of Norfolk County Sheriff's Department

Thursday, Sept. 27, 2018
Article Picture
MBA Past President Robert W. Harnais

Massachusetts Bar Association Past President Robert W. Harnais will serve as interim head of the Norfolk County Sheriff’s Department when Sheriff Michael Bellotti leaves office in the coming weeks.

Harnais, the department’s current chief counsel, will assume Bellotti’s regular duties until Gov. Charlie Baker appoints a replacement, or until the sheriff’s position appears on the ballot in 2020. Bellotti is stepping down from his post after nearly 20 years to become the interim president of Quincy College. 

A general practitioner with Mahoney & Harnais in Quincy, Harnais made history in 2015 when he was named the first Hispanic president of the MBA. Harnais had previously served on the MBA’s Executive Management Board and House of Delegates, as co-chair of the MBA’s Crime Lab Task Force, and as chair of the MBA’s Diversity Task Force. 

In addition to his MBA service, Harnais is a past president of the Massachusetts Association of Hispanic Attorneys (MAHA), the New England Bar Association and the Bar Association of Norfolk County, and a past regional president of the Hispanic National Bar Association. 

In 2014, MAHA honored Harnais with its Leadership Award for his dedication to the Hispanic bar. That same year, he received the Quincy Bar Association’s Alfred P. Malaney Award, commonly referred to as the “Man of the Year Award,” for distinguished legal services. Harnais is also a past recipient of the Norfolk County Bar Association Pro Bono Award (2011).  

Harnais received his B.A. from the University of Massachusetts Boston in 1984, and then went on to graduate from New England Law | Boston in 1989.