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State high court: Fire corrupt probation chief

Court officials will immediately start proceedings to fire John O’Brien, the suspended commissioner of the Probation Department, after an independent review released Thursday found that patronage was perverse throughout the hiring process.

Court officials will immediately start proceedings to fire John O’Brien, the suspended commissioner of the Probation Department, after an independent review released Thursday found that patronage was perverse throughout the hiring process.

“The hiring and promotion process in the Probation Department is corrupt and has disproportionately favored politically-connected candidates,” the report stated.

Paul Ware, a Boston attorney charged with investigating the allegations of the corrupt hiring process, conducted a five-month investigation in which testimony was collected from nearly 100 witnesses.

The more than 300-page report concluded that deputy commissioners, as well as O’Brien, rigged the interview and selection process in favor of candidates who had political or personal connections.

Also named in the report are nearly a dozen state legislators who had “an understanding” with O’Brien that appropriations for the department would be linked to “fraudulent hiring and promotion on a pervasive scale.”

The report also concluded that many deputies were complicit and O’Brien retaliated against employees who refused to cooperate.

 
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