DeLeo criticizes Ware, calls him unprofessional
But Speaker cites selective evidence to make his case
House Speaker Robert DeLeo over the weekend lashed out at Paul Ware for suggesting a statement Ware made in 2010 should not be construed as clearing the Speaker of any wrongdoing in the Probation Department scandal.
DeLeo, in a statement released late Saturday afternoon, said it was puzzling why Ware, the independent counsel who investigated hiring practices at the Probation Department, waited four years to correct the record. Yet a news report from just weeks after Ware made his original comment suggests his office did try to correct the record then, an attempt that was ignored by the Speaker.
In November 2010, following the release of his report on the Probation Department, Ware was quoted by the State House News Service as saying he had “no reason to believe Speaker DeLeo did anything inappropriate” and added that he did not think the report “sheds any negative light on Speaker DeLeo.” Ware also cautioned that he did not investigate members of the Legislature during his investigation and law enforcement officials would ultimately decide whether criminal charges were warranted.
Ware on Friday took exception to DeLeo’s characterization of his remarks. “It is a distortion on the part of the Speaker to claim the investigation of the independent counsel exonerated him, because it did not,” Ware said. Ware added that he was not implying that DeLeo engaged in any criminal conduct, but nor was he implying that the Speaker was innocent of any wrongdoing.
DeLeo late Saturday afternoon released a statement calling Ware “unprofessional” and added that it was puzzling why he never refuted his original statement.“Why, after almost four years of my publicly referring to this statement and during which time Mr. Ware and I spoke in regards to this matter and my court reorganization and hiring reform legislation, Mr. Ware would suddenly and substantially make an inconsistent statement is puzzling. Mr. Ware’s attempt to rewrite history is disturbing and unprofessional. Fortunately, the public record reflects accurately his statements and opinion up on which I and others relied,” DeLeo’s statement said.
But DeLeo left out a key piece of evidence. On November 30, 2010, just a couple of weeks after Ware made his original comment about DeLeo, Ware’s deputy independent counsel, Kevin Martin, stated emphatically in a State House News Service story that the Probation report “does not accuse any politician of criminal conduct in connection with hiring or exonerate any politician.” He added: “While we did not find any specific evidence of wrongdoing by Rep. DeLeo, that was not our focus. We leave it to other government agencies to follow up on the statistical evidence we noted with respect to legislators.”