Taking office in January 2012, Jon Mitchell is New Bedford's 38th Mayor. Jon's roots are deeply imbedded in the City. He was born in New Bedford in 1969, and hails from a local fishing family that included his grandfather, Alexander Mitchell, whose name is inscribed at the Seaman’s Bethel with other local fishermen lost to the sea. The son of public school teachers, Jon was raised in New Bedford and North Dartmouth, and attended local public schools.
After graduating from Dartmouth High School, where he was the captain of the basketball team and a three year letterman in football, Jon went off to Harvard College. After graduating from Harvard with a degree in economics, Jon went to work in Washington, D.C. for a year, and remained there to attend law school at George Washington University. Upon graduation, Jon went to work as a federal prosecutor in the United States Department of Justice, having been selected to the prestigious Attorney General’s Honor Program, one of only five attorneys chosen from over 1,500 applicants. As one of the youngest federal prosecutors in the country, Jon successfully prosecuted violent crime cases in the District of Columbia, as well as major white collar crime cases.
Three years later, Jon returned to Massachusetts, where he worked briefly at the Massachusetts Attorney General’s office prosecuting public corruption cases, and then left for private practice at a major Boston law firm. He then returned to the role of federal prosecutor as an Assistant United States Attorney in Boston. In the eight years since, Jon prosecuted cases in the areas of white collar crime, environmental crime, public corruption and violent crime. Many of his cases were of national and local importance, including his tenure as the prosecutor on the fugitive investigation for Boston mobster Whitey Bulger, and his prosecutions of:
- The perpetrators of the Buzzards Bay Oil Spill;
- Glenn Marshall, the former leader of the Mashpee Wampanoag tribe for a campaign finance scheme connected to disgraced lobbyist Jack Abramoff;
- Robert Mardirosian, the lawyer who sought for over twenty-five years to fence paintings from one of the largest art heists in U.S. history;
- Daniel and Aimee McElroy, involving one of the country’s largest under-the-table payroll tax prosecutions which was centered on the New Bedford waterfront;
- Oil giant ExxonMobil for an oil spill in Boston Harbor;
Jon served six years in the Army National Guard, and has been a member of numerous civic organizations in the city.
Jon is married to Ann Partridge, a breast cancer physician and researcher. She is the Director of Survivorship at the Dana Farber Cancer Institute, and founded and directs the Program for Young Women with Breast Cancer at Dana Farber. They live in New Bedford with their three daughters, Grace (10), Natalie (9) and Lauren (6), and are parishioners of Saint Lawrence Martyr Church.