In 2019, Newton District Court Judge Shelley Joseph was indicted for helping an undocumented immigrant sneak out of a courthouse to avoid being detained. U.S. Attorney for Massachusetts Rachael Rollins is recused from the case, and she told Jim Braude on Greater Boston that it all boils down to litigation she initiated when she was Suffolk County District Attorney.

Judge Shelley Joseph was charged with conspiracy to obstruct justice and obstruction of a federal proceeding after she helped an immigrant from the Dominican Republic flee from a courthouse in 2018.

When Rollins was district attorney, she took steps to prevent immigration officials from arresting people in courthouses. Rollins, along with other officials, sued Immigrations and Customs Enforcement to stop their officers from making courthouse arrests, but the suit was dropped in 2021 following federal guidance to stop courthouse arrests in most circumstances.

When asked on Greater Boston, Rollins confirmed that her involvement with that lawsuit was why she was recused from Joseph's ongoing case.

"There were concerns either of a conflict or an appearance of a potential conflict, and ultimately after discussions with the Executive Office of U.S. Attorneys, I said you know, rather than have this become a distraction about me — I have no problem with my former colleague here and the current U.S. Attorney in Rhode Island, Zach Cunha, overseeing this case," Rollins said.

Watch: U.S. Attorney Rachael Rollins on Greater Boston