Probation Dept Report Released

(Some light reading for tonight. I printed out a copy and will be reading and posting on this in depth later this evening.  Suffice it to say we need a special prosecutor in Massachusetts.   – promoted by Rob “EaBo Clipper” Eno)



The state’s highest court, armed with a special counsel’s report that details widespread “abuse and systemic corruption” in the state’s Probation Department, said today the senior court officials will move to fire Probation Commissioner John J. O’Brien, suspend several of his top deputies and forward the report to prosecutors for potential criminal investigation.

The Supreme Judicial Court’s stunning announcement came as the court unsealed a devastating report from an independent counsel that concluded that O’Brien and other probation leaders “committed pervasive fraud against the Commonwealth” for years, creating a phony hiring process to hide the systematic funneling of hundreds of jobs to politically-connected candidates.

The independent counsel, Paul F. Ware Jr., called for the immediate dismissal of O’Brien and some deputy commissioners for “abuse and systemic corruption,” and said that the group are “potential targets” for prosecution.

The Supreme Judicial Court, in a statement, strongly embraced Ware’s conclusions.

Ware said that literally dozens of probation employees actively participated in “rigging” the interview process to create the appearance of a fair system when, in fact, O’Brien pre-selected candidates for practically every job opening in the 2,000-employee agency down to entry level clerical workers.

The 307-page report bristles with examples where O’Brien and his staff knowingly hire and promote inferior candidates — and, in one case, a convicted felon – to probation positions to placate key legislators who control his budget. At one point, Ware wrote, O’Brien became furious at a probation supervisor because she refused to go along with a plan to hire a former state senator’s son who was both a felon and a former heroin addict. O’Brien hired Douglas MacLean anyway. The supervisor was banished to do audits far from her home.

etc., etc., etc.…

here’s a link to the 337 page report…

About David Whelan

  • There will be many nuggets and disclosures from this report especially related to the involvement of current and former legislators, especially those in leadership or formerly in leadership, who supported candidates for hire or promotion.

    The nature and extent of their involvement is hard to discern at this time.  However, there is a disturbing paragraph in the report concerning former Speaker of the House Finneran:

    Two key legislators involved with budgeting for Probation and who sponsored candidates for hiring and promotion also refused to cooperate with the investigation, former Speaker of the House Thomas Finneran and Representative Thomas Petrolati, both of whom invoked their Fifth Amendment and Article 12 rights and refused to testify.

    His failure to cooperate should call into question his continued assurances that all is well on Beacon Hill.  Even more important, his refusal to cooperate should result in a call for a thorough review of his plea agreement to see if he has violated any of its conditions.

    Add to that his role as a lobbyist and, in my opinion, things start getting a little murky.

    While there is the need for a full and fair investigation of all named in the report, his failure to cooperate has not started Mr. Finneran out on a good note.

  • Given the findings of this report is there any legal avenue for those individuals who were not hired due to the alleged scheme to rig the hiring process to sue to Probation Department and its officers for discrimination?

    This is going to create one heck of a mess in MA and tie up Beacon Hill in knots for some time.

  • Republican Ram Rod Radio

    Sometimes I hear stories like this, but it goes away . . .

    This isn’t a false alarm is it?

    Where is Porcupine?  

  • Only named 7 times in the report. A proud moment in the 3rd Essex and Middlesex.  

  • just the executive summary, most of what happened in Probation probably occurs to some extent in all state agencies. Maybe not to this level of criminal conduct. This should be a stark reminder to those sheep who keep electing these jokers that they’re using OUR money to fund this fraud. It underscores the need for term limits so no one amasses the power for such abuse of public funds.

  •   Tom Petrolati and his wife Kathleen refused to testify under oath. They took the 5th amendment. Wow, I love the smell of corruption, especially when they’re all Democrats. You can hear the roar, all running away like RATS!!!!

  • DeLeo also called the report “disturbing” and said he’ll be “closely reviewing its findings to determine if any legislative action is appropriate.”

    Wait! You were one of the biggest pay-for-players. And your know to be the biggest pay-for-player was your hand picked second in command.

    Reelect Bob DeLeo!

  • Yes, this report – whether true or not – may very well have been a game changer had it come out about 2-3 weeks back.  

    This is at least in the race between Republican challenger David Pottier versus State Senator Marc Pacheco.

    This report may also tarnish State Senator Mark Montigny.

    Both Sens. Marc R. Pacheco, D-Taunton, and Mark C.W. Montigny, D-New Bedford, were on the list of the 10 most frequent Beacon Hill “sponsors” of potential department employees and both appear on the list of the 20 most frequent recipients of contributions from Probation Department employees since 2000.

    The report does not uncover “direct evidence that legislators were explicitly offering to sponsor candidates in exchange for campaign contributions, but there is statistical evidence that ‘pay for play’ was the reality.”

    According to the report, O’Brien went to “extraordinary lengths to placate important politicians by ensuring success of their preferred candidates.” This allegedly included Pacheco.

    According to the report, O’Brien allegedly told Sen. Pacheco that “either he would successfully fill a first assistant chief probation officer position with the senator’s preferred candidate or he would not fill it at all.”

    The report also suggests that Montigny, a former chairman of Ways and Means, was, like Pacheco, one of a handful of influential politicians with ties to that committee who allegedly held some sway over the hiring and promotions of the department.

    According to the report, Montigny had allegedly sponsored upwards of 54 candidates for positions to be hired in the department.  Of those, 23 (or 43 percent) wre campaign contributors to the State Senator.

    Eleven were successfully hired or promoted within 1 year following their sponsorship by the State Senator.  Meanwhile only 1 of the 31 candidate who failed to have contributed funds to Montigny’s campaign appear to have been promoted or hired.

    I haven’t read it & I’ll presume everyone’s innocence at this time but for the New Bedford Standard-Times to come out with this… the report might actually be interesting reading.