3 Probation defendants found guilty by jury
Fraudulent hires linked to DeLeo, Murray, other lawmakers

A federal jury found former state Probation Department commissioner John O’Brien guilty of mail fraud, racketeering and conspiracy Thursday, in a verdict that tied leaders of the Massachusetts House and Senate to pervasive hiring fraud within Probation. One former O’Brien aide, Elizabeth Tavares, was also found guilty of racketeering, conspiracy, and conspiracy involving mail fraud; a second aide, William Burke III, was found guilty of conspiracy. (Continue reading…)

DeLeo: Jury cleared me of inappropriate conduct
Speaker says ‘all of us have to respect’ verdict

A chastened House Speaker Robert DeLeo responded to Thursday’s Probation Department guilty verdict by issuing a statement saying “it is a verdict that all of us have to respect.” But he then gave a legal interpretation of the jury’s verdict that suggested he had been cleared of engaging in any inappropriate conduct. (Continue reading…)

Ortiz wins big victory, but questions remain
US Attorney doesn’t explain why lawmakers weren’t charged

Nearly everyone on Beacon Hill thought US Attorney Carmen Ortiz was over-reaching by attempting to make a crime of what they considered business-as-usual hiring practices at the Probation Department, but her lieutenants convinced a jury otherwise. The only question mark for Ortiz in the wake of Thursday’s verdict was why none of the lawmakers who participated in the hiring scheme, including House Speaker Robert DeLeo and Senate President Therese Murray, were charged with any crimes. (Continue reading…)

A stain on the dome
The Probation trial verdict tarnishes Beacon Hill again

The guilty finding was made at the federal courthouse on Boston’s waterfront, but its reverberations were loudest a mile away at the State House. No legislators were formally charged in the case involving rigged hiring in the state Probation Department, but the entire way of business on Beacon Hill was effectively on trial as prosecutors exposed the often seamy underside of politics and patronage in Massachusetts state government. (Continue reading…)