The prosecution: 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 public sector,” he wrote. (Continue reading…)

The defense: 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 Trial Court, and US Attorney Carmen Ortiz. (Continue reading…)

The judge: 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. (Continue reading…)