BOSTON (AP) — Former Attorney General Scott Harshbarger has been selected by the Supreme Judicial Court to lead a task force to review hiring practices in the state’s court system, including the Probation Department.
The announcement Tuesday follows newspaper stories and an independent report suggesting the Probation Department selected some employees based on legislative support and in exchange for a bigger budget appropriation from the House and Senate.
The entire judicial branch has faced similar charges of patronage.
Harshbarger’s panel will present an interim report in 90 days and a comprehensive analysis in six months.
Gov. Deval Patrick, Senate President Therese Murray and House Speaker Robert DeLeo are creating their own committee to produce joint legislation that will overhaul the Probation Department’s hiring.
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