Patronage on Trial

Patronage on Trial

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

Witness: DeLeo got jobs to help speaker fight

Witness: DeLeo got jobs to help speaker fight

Former Probation lobbyist says O’Brien took sides in the battle to succeed DiMasi

The legislative liaison for former Probation commissioner John O’Brien testified Monday that O’Brien gave then-House Ways and Means Committee chairman Robert DeLeo 10 newly created positions to hand out to colleagues and directed that all recommendations for probation jobs from House members go through DeLeo’s top aide to help the Winthrop Democrat garner support for(...)

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Aide describes pressure to hire rep’s wife

Aide describes pressure to hire rep’s wife

Kathleen Petrolati had no college degree for Probation job

A former high-ranking official in the state’s Probation Department said Friday that a coworker pressured him to hire the wife of a prominent member of the House of Representatives. The legislator’s wife, Kathleen Petrolati, had no college degree and no criminal justice background at the time, but was hired anyway. Paul Lucci, a retired deputy(...)

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DeLeo says he didn’t trade jobs for votes

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(...)

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Prosecutors use letters to buttress mail fraud

Prosecutors use letters to buttress mail fraud

Witness: O’Brien called lawmakers, judges ‘a bunch of pigs’

The documents, signed by former Probation commissioner John O’Brien and his top aide Elizabeth Tavares, were basically form letters. Some of the letters notified people that they were not being selected for Probation jobs and others, addressed to the chief justice of the Trial Court, identified the people who were being appointed. Taken as a(...)

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Reps say Probation jobs needed leadership support

Reps say Probation jobs needed leadership support

Lawmakers acknowledge they tapped friends for the posts offered by DeLeo

State Rep. Harold Naughton of Clinton testified today in the federal corruption trial of former Probation commissioner John J. O’Brien and two top aides that it was common knowledge among legislators that candidates sponsored for probation jobs had a better chance if they had leadership backing. Naughton, who ran a brief campaign for Attorney General(...)

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Mulligan, Probation aide met at judge’s home in ‘06

Mulligan, Probation aide met at judge’s home in ‘06

Chief justice was concerned about hiring practices

Robert Mulligan, the former chief justice for administration and management of the Massachusetts Trial Court, was aware of hiring irregularities at the state Probation Department in 2006, but didn’t feel like he had the power to put the brakes on runaway Probation patronage, a former high-ranking Probation Department official testified Friday. Edward Dalton, a retired(...)

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O’Brien attorneys call for Probation mistrial

O’Brien attorneys call for Probation mistrial

Witness says he spoke with friends who also testified

Attorneys in the federal corruption trial of former state Probation Department commissioner John O’Brien asked for a mistrial Friday after a prosecution witness said he has been discussing testimony in the case with a pair of other witnesses. The judge in the case, William Young, did not immediately rule on the request. Edward Dalton, a(...)

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Justice or payback?

Justice or payback?

Are judges getting even with O'Brien?

For some lawmakers on Beacon Hill, the federal trial of former Probation commissioner John O’Brien and two of his top aides is not what it appears. For them, the case is not about mail fraud, racketeering, or bribery, but about payback. As these lawmakers see it, O’Brien is facing prosecution largely because the Legislature gave(...)

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Ex-Sen. Hart sails at O’Brien trial

Ex-Sen. Hart sails at O’Brien trial

Filed bills benefitting Probation, but none passed

Former state Sen. John (Jack) Hart sailed through his second day of testimony at the trial of former Probation commissioner John O’Brien and two of his top aides. He acknowledged filing pension bills and amendments that would benefit employees at Probation, including O’Brien, but said the measures did not pass and were nothing unusual. Prosecutors(...)

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Sen. Montigny contacted Manchester interviewer

Sen. Montigny contacted Manchester interviewer

Prosecutors say Manchester was senator’s girlfriend

Sen. Mark Montigny in 2008 personally contacted one of the people interviewing Kelly Manchester for a probation officer’s job, but it was unclear what role, if any, his recommendation played in the process. Prosecutors in the trial of former Probation commissioner John O’Brien say Manchester was Montigny’s girlfriend at the time. The person Montigny contacted,(...)

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