Patronage on Trial

Patronage on Trial

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

Health policy agency critiques Partners deal

Health policy agency critiques Partners deal

Raises concerns but doesn’t urge rejection

The state’s Health Policy Commission raised concerns on Thursday about some aspects of Attorney General Martha Coakley’s proposed agreement with Partners Health Care on hospital acquisitions, but the agency did not urge Superior Court Judge Janet Sanders to either approve or disapprove the settlement. The commission, citing cost concerns, said in February that it opposed(...)

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The judge

The judge

Young draws line for jury between patronage and crimes

The federal corruption trial of state Probation Department officials wrapped up today where it began: With US District Court Judge William Young emphasizing to jurors that political patronage may be unseemly, but it isn’t illegal. Patronage involves getting a job or promotion “based on who you know rather than what you know,” said Young in(...)

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The defense

The defense

“The fraud is the government’s case”

Former Probation commissioner John O’Brien (right) with his attorneys Stellio Sinnis (center) and William Fick. Defense attorneys for former Probation Department officials John O’Brien, Elizabeth Tavares and William Burke III devoted much of their closing arguments in their federal corruption trial on Tuesday to playing offense, assailing Robert Mulligan, the former head of the Massachusetts(...)

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The prosecution

The prosecution

Nothing transparent about Probation hiring

Former Probation commissioner John O’Brien wrote a January 2007 letter to his nemesis, Trial Court chief Robert Mulligan, in which he defended the way people were hired at the Probation Department. “The probation officer hiring process (as it has developed and as it exists) may be the most transparent, accountable, and tested process in the(...)

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US Attorney labels DeLeo a coconspirator

US Attorney labels DeLeo a coconspirator

Speaker, attorney say accusation unfair

The top public corruption prosecutor in US Attorney Carmen Ortiz’s office said Monday that House Speaker Robert DeLeo was an active member of the racketeering conspiracy that led to the federal indictment of former Probation Department commissioner John O’Brien. The allegation represents a significant escalation of rhetoric against DeLeo, who hasn’t been charged in the(...)

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Despite concerns, Young keeps most charges

Despite concerns, Young keeps most charges

Jurors' perception of Mulligan could be key

US District Court Judge William Young on Monday slightly narrowed the charges against former Probation commissioner John O’Brien and two of his top aides but agreed to send the case to the jury pretty much as prosecutors wanted. O’Brien and former aides Elizabeth Tavares and William Burke III are charged with running a rigged hiring(...)

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DeLeo slams Murphy as illogical, untruthful

DeLeo slams Murphy as illogical, untruthful

Statement a sign of Probation trial’s political fallout

In a statement issued after 5 p.m. on Friday, House Speaker Robert DeLeo called a former top lieutenant “illogical” and “untruthful” for testifying that DeLeo told him not to cut the budget of the Probation Department in fiscal 2010. Charles Murphy, the former chairman of the House Ways and Means Committee, testified on Wednesday at(...)

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Fireworks finale in Probation trial

Fireworks finale in Probation trial

Last witness triggers anger and threats of perjury charges from prosecutors

A retired Probation worker incensed prosecutors and drew threats of perjury charges on the stand in the federal corruption trial of his former bosses when he apparently contradicted his grand jury testimony and statements made in interviews with FBI agents, insisting he never said the things that were recorded. William Mattei, the last witness called(...)

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O’Brien defense rests without a word

O’Brien defense rests without a word

Attorneys for all three defendants gamble prosecutors did not make their case

Defense attorneys for former Probation commissioner John O’Brien and two of his top aides let testimony in the federal corruption trial end Friday without calling a single witness to the stand. After nearly 40 days of often contentious and mind-numbing testimony over more than nine weeks, prosecutors in the federal corruption trial of O’Brien and(...)

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A jury full of questions

A jury full of questions

Jurors, judge at Probation trial active players in courtroom

At most trials in state and federal courts, the jury is a blank and muted canvass for lawyers to paint their cases on throughout the proceedings, its collective voice heard loud and clear only when the verdict is announced. Perhaps a raised eyebrow here, a sly smile or chuckle there at questions posed by prosecutors(...)

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