Prior to serving as Cape Ann’s state representative, Ann-Margaret practiced law within the community in her Gloucester-based office. Part of Ann-Margaret’s practice was representing fishermen and the fishing industry business. She observed the heinous abuse of power by NOAA. Working with the fishermen of Cape Ann, she was able to document them and report them to superiors at NOAA and federal elected officials such as then United States Senators Ted Kennedy and John Kerry, and United States Congressman John Tierney.
In 2009, Ann-Margaret used her legal and political background to build a coalition of sea port legislators including Massachusetts Speaker Robert DeLeo and Massachusetts Senate President Therese Murray to seek a federal investigation by the Inspector General. Three investigative reports later, the Inspector General revealed wrongdoing and abuse involving federal agents at the National Oceanographic and Atmospheric Administration. The revelation of wronging resulted in an apology and $649,527 being returned to fishermen.
Furthermore, Ann-Margaret also worked closely with Attorney General Martha Coakley to take the federal government to task on the implementation and development of federal regulations. Attorney General Coakley won one lawsuit.
In 2014, $75 million was awarded in disaster relief to the nation’s fisheries. Ann-Margaret has made it her mission to be sure that the legislators on the Federal level were aware of the plight faced by local fishermen since the groundfishing industry was declared an economic disaster in September 2012.
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