Tim Cahill the Hack

(but but the Cahill Boys tell us he’s not a hack. – promoted by Rob “EaBo Clipper” Eno)

Today’s Globe Spotlight piece, “An agency where patronage is job one,” is disgusting. The story includes a handy roster of those that have received their jobs the old fashioned way, they know a politician. How ironic that the poster child of Deval’s “I’m not really a reformer” administration, Marian Walsh is on the list of those that have greased the path towards employment for her connected stepson. And then there is the Bulger family. Enough said! That brings me to Tim Cahill, the master of “pay to play” politics.” These gems are from the Globe’s piece that can be found at:


For starters:

Rush’s quick exit gave O’Brien a second chance to take the advice of Judge Kathleen E. Coffey, who recommended Kennedy for the job. Instead, O’Brien chose another politically connected candidate: a veteran probation officer who has donated $2,100 to Treasurer Timothy P. Cahill, an O’Brien ally who employs O’Brien’s wife and one of his daughters.


O’Brien has taken care of friends, too, finding jobs for the children of his Boston College football teammate, for a friend who ran a fur shop, for a former plasterer friendly with Cahill, and promoting two probation officers who moonlight as bartenders at a Northampton pizza joint frequented by one of his top deputies. Along the way, O’Brien’s family has also benefited.

O’Brien’s agency hired his daughter Genevieve, despite a warning that he might be violating the court system’s rules against nepotism. That gave O’Brien’s immediate family two jobs at the Probation Department, including his own, and two more under Cahill with a combined annual income of $260,000.


Similarly, some probation employees may feel pressure to support politicians backed by O’Brien. In July 2005, an impressive 45 probation employees – mostly senior managers – donated $5,900 to state treasurer Cahill. O’Brien said he played no role in orchestrating the donations to help out his fellow Quincy resident and the man who hired his wife to work in the state Lottery a few months later.

Cahill said in a statement that he had known Laurie O’Brien for years and that she was hired based on qualifications.

You really do have to read the article for context, but be prepared, it is long and disturbing. What is clear from a quick read of the article is that given the Probation Department’s responsibilities as a cog in the public safety system, our public safety has been compromised due to the patronage in the Probation Department. What is also clear is that Tim Cahill is as guilty of playing patronage politics as anyone. He most certainly is not an “outsider” and the notion that he somehow is not a “pay for play” hack is laughable.

About David Whelan