DeLeo says he didn’t trade jobs for votes
Speaker says he has not transgressed anything
STATE HOUSE NEWS SERVICE
House Speaker Robert DeLeo said he never traded jobs for votes in 2007 and 2008 when court testimony indicates he offered lawmakers the opportunity to make job recommendations for positions in the state Probation Department.
Four current and former representatives have testified in the ongoing criminal trial of former Probation commissioner John O’Brien and two of his top aides that DeLeo, in his former role as House budget chief, offered them the chance to recommend a candidate for a job at the Electronic Monitoring Office in Clinton or alerted them that a job was available. The individuals the lawmakers recommended all received jobs, sometimes sight unseen, according to prosecutors.
Reps. Anne Gobi, Harold Naughton, James O’Day and former Rep. Robert Rice said DeLeo’s outreach on that issue did not have any effect on their decision to support him for speaker in 2009. House members chose DeLeo over Rep. John Rogers of Norwood to succeed former Speaker Salvatore DiMasi.
DeLeo told reporters Wednesday that account is false. “As I stated before, relative to so-called getting jobs for votes, that never happened,” he said.
Asked why he offered the job-filling opportunities to his colleagues, the Winthrop Democrat reiterated statements he has made that he was cleared of any wrongdoing.
“After all four years of review and studies and whatnot, there has been found, as related to me, there has been no improprieties. I have not transgressed any laws, any other rules, or anything of any sort,” DeLeo said. “That’s the only thing that I can say.”After taking one question on the Probation trial following a closed-door caucus, DeLeo boarded an elevator.
Federal prosecutors allege that O’Brien landed jobs for politically connected individuals “in order to influence and attempt to influence members of the Legislature to act favorably on legislation and budget requests regarding the Probation Department as well as to assist the chairman [of House Ways and Means] in an upcoming contest for the post of Speaker of the House of Representatives.”