Lawmaker bribes part of new indictment for ex probation head

house speaker robert deleo boston
House Speaker Robert DeLeo.
Credit: Nicolaus Czarnecki/METRO

About a week after he was acquitted on state conspriracy to commit bribery charges, the former head of the state’s Probation Department faced a new federal indictment that charges him with bribing state lawmakers with jobs for their associates, including Senate President Therese Murray and House Speaker Robert DeLeo. 

Federal authorities filed a superseding indictment against John O’Brien Wednesday. The new indictment alleges that O’Brien, who resigned in 2010 amid a patronage scandal, hired people recommended to him by several state lawmakers although they were not the most qualified for the jobs.

“The defendant O’Brien engaged in the conduct … in order to influence and attempt to influence members of the legislature to act favorably on legislation and budget requests regarding the Probation Department as well as to assist the Chairman in an upcoming contest for the post of Speaker of the House of Representatives,” authorities wrote in the 56-page indictment.

DeLeo and Murray are not charged and are not named in the indictment except by title. At the time of the alleged patronage, DeLeo was chairman of the House Ways and Means Committee.

The indictment details specific instances of O’Brien allegedly hiring the recommended people despite their lack of qualifications.

For example, authorities wrote that one employee, who was only described by initials P. L. “was the son of a member of the state judiciary and was sponsored for employment by the President of the Senate as a probation officer at the Plymouth County Probate and Family Court. P. L. was not the most qualified candidate, but was hired in or about June 2008.”

A spokesman for Murray, who was served as Senate president since 2007, released a statement on her behalf.

“The indictment, when read properly, states that the probation department intended to influence legislators. Nothing in the indictment says the Senate President was influenced or had any knowledge of an alleged probation department scheme. The record is very clear that the Senate President has worked during her career to control probation department spending while ensuring its public safety role, and that she led a forceful reform of the department when allegations of improper hiring practices emerged,” the statement from David Falcone, a Murray spokesman, said.

DeLeo’s office also issued a statement.

“The superseding indictment appears to be a more detailed repetition of what has already been charged. It is clear that I am not a party to the indictment, but I want to state emphatically: I only recommended job applicants who were qualified. I never gave or received any benefits from those recommendations, and I never traded jobs for votes. There is no one who could honestly say otherwise,” DeLeo said in the statement.

A jury acquitted O’Brien last week on state charges that he allegedly used his influence to have Probation Department employees attend a fundraiser for then State Treasurer Tim Cahill so his wife could get a job at the Lottery.

Follow Michael Naughton on Twitter @metrobosmike.


News
Entertainment
Sports
Lifestyle
International

'Barack Obama cheats on Michelle' claims Japanese politician…

A senior Japanese politician has marred Barack Obama's official visit to Tokyo with bizarre claims that the President cheats on his wife Michelle. Kazuyuki Hamada,…

International

British Royal family devastated by freak NY death…

The British royals have been left devastated by the death of Mark Shand, younger brother of Camilla, Duchess of Cornwall, after a freak fall in…

Local

VIDEO: Police seek suspect in molotov cocktail attack…

Police released surveillance video on Wednesday in hopes of tracking down a man who threw a molotov cocktail inside a Brooklyn corner store.

Local

City Council budget asks for 1,000 additional NYPD…

Speaker Melissa Mark-Viverito unveiled the City Council's budget priorities on Wednesday, including the extra cops for the NYPD at a cost of $94.3 million.

Television

‘Survivor: Cagayan’ recap: Episode 9

It was only an hour-long episode, but there's a lot to cover this week. The drama of Survivor strikes again as the identity of the…

Television

TV watch list, Wednesday, April 23: 'Suburgatory,' 'Modern…

'Suburgatory' The men of "Suburgatory" go camping and Tessa mentors a social outcast in a Miss Chatswin contest, which brings her, once again, into conflict…

The Word

The best lines from Oprah's ex-stepmother's Daily Mail…

Oprah’s ex-stepmother, Barbara Winfrey, is out for revenge.

Books

A debut novel about fate, love and moving…

Pia Padukone talks about her debut novel, "Where Earth Meets Water."

NFL

2014 NFL Mock Draft: Updated, new April 24…

2014 NFL Mock Draft: Updated, new April 24 version

NFL

Giants 2014 regular season schedule

The Giants will play five prime-time games — against the Lions, Redskins, Eagles, Colts and Cowboys.

MLB

Jets 2014 regular season schedule

The Jets will play three prime-time games — against the Bears, Patriots and Dolphins — as well as a CBS national game in Week 2 at Green Bay.

NBA

Phil Jackson talked to Steve Kerr, pushes for…

Knicks president Phil Jackson spoke to the media for the first time since firing head coach Mike Woodson on Monday.

Style

Pippa Middleton's Etsy pick: Golden Thread Jewelry

Get a look at the jewelry Pippa Middleton loves and find out how you can buy it too.

Parenting

What every parent needs to know to get…

Mom and author of "Small Talk," Tracey Blake, shares her five practical tips to help you develop your children's language skills.

Sex

Subway crush: Meet your soulmate on your commute

Read about a couple who has been 40 years after meeting on the train.

Tech

Happy birthday, Game Boy! The handheld console turns…

Nintendo's Game Boy turns 25 this week. To commemorate, we look at some of its better games, like "Tetris" and "The Legend of Zelda: Link’s Awakening."