Patronage on Trial

Patronage on Trial

Coverage of the federal racketeering trial of former Probation Commissioner John O’Brien.

O’Brien conviction overturned; DeLeo cleared

O’Brien conviction overturned; DeLeo cleared

Ruling says prosecutors were off-base in bringing federal charges in probation scandal

A US APPEALS COURT overturned the convictions of former state probation commissioner John O’Brien and two top aides, saying prosecutors failed to prove key elements of their case and should not have been allowed to apply federal criminal statutes to violations of Massachusetts laws. “We can conclude that O’Brien, along with the other defendants and(...)

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Probation case drags on and on

Probation case drags on and on

Appeals of O’Brien and two aides languish with delays

NEARLY SIX YEARS after the Probation Department patronage scandal exploded into public view, almost four years after three top officials were indicted, 18 months after their convictions, and nearly one year to the day after the trio filed their appeals, the case remains unsettled. No one has served time, no one has paid a fine,(...)

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SJC seeks probes of DeLeo transcript leak

SJC seeks probes of DeLeo transcript leak

Asks US Attorney, AG, and Ethic Commission to investigate

THE MASSACHUSETTS SUPREME JUDICIAL COURT told House Speaker Robert DeLeo on Monday that it was asking three state and federal law enforcement agencies and its former independent counsel to investigate how a confidential transcript of a 2010 interview with DeLeo about hiring at the Probation Department came to be provided to the Boston Globe. The(...)

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DeLeo calls for probe of leaked testimony

DeLeo calls for probe of leaked testimony

Accuses Globe of taking quotes out of context

What follows is a statement issued by House Speaker Robert DeLeo in response to a Boston Globe story quoting sealed transcripts of his testimony before independent counsel Paul Ware, who was appointed by the Supreme Judicial Court to investigate hiring practices at the Probation Department. That investigation led to the federal prosecution and conviction of(...)

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What really happened at Probation’s electronic monitoring operation?

What really happened at Probation’s electronic monitoring operation?

Last summer's trial raised questions but provided few answers

IT STARTED WITH Michael Bizanowicz, a dangerous sex offender who broke into a Woburn home in 2004 and raped and killed Joanne Presti and then murdered her 12-year-old daughter, Alyssa. The crime was so shocking that state lawmakers a year later passed a law requiring sex offenders on probation or parole to be outfitted with(...)

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Madeloni critical of Sagan appointment

Madeloni critical of Sagan appointment

MTA chief wary of Baker’s pro-charter agenda

GOV. CHARLIE BAKER’S highly political appointment of Paul Sagan as the chair of the Board of Elementary and Secondary Education underscores educators’ concerns about the Baker administration’s public education agenda. Sagan’s key involvement in education stems from his role as chairman of the Massachusetts Business Leaders for Charter Public Schools, which has a record of(...)

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Linsky says panel can’t probe Probation hiring

Aide: Post Audit barred from investigating Legislature

The chairman of the House Committee on Post Audit and Oversight says the panel does not have jurisdiction to investigate hiring practices at the state Probation Department because such an investigation would necessitate an investigation of the Legislature itself. Republicans Rep. James Lyons Jr. of Andover and Marc Lombardo of Billerica asked Democratic Rep. David(...)

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Judge wants O’Brien, Tavares near homes

Urges imprisonment at Devens, Danbury

US District Court Judge William Young, who last week sentenced former Probation commissioner John O’Brien and his top deputy Elizabeth Tavares to surprisingly lenient prison sentences, has endorsed their requests to serve time in federal facilities close to home. Without comment, Young recommended to the federal Bureau of Prisons that O’Brien, who lives in Quincy,(...)

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Legislative panel urged to probe Probation

Letter from 2 GOP reps focuses on DeLeo

Two Republican state representatives are asking the chairman of the House Committee on Post Audit and Oversight to investigate the “rigged hiring system” at the Probation Department and make referrals to the House Ethics Committee if any lawmakers were involved. The letter from Reps. James Lyons Jr. of Andover and Marc Lombardo of Billerica summarizes(...)

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Tearful Tavares admits rigged hiring system

Says she wishes she had courage to stop it

Former deputy Probation commissioner Elizabeth Tavares, in a sobbing plea for leniency on her conviction for racketeering and mail fraud, publicly acknowledged for the first time that a rigged hiring system existed at the agency. “No one is more remorseful than I,” said a weeping Tavares. “I appear before you today to say I wish(...)

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