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.

(© Copyright 2010 The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)

Comments (2)
  1. DStein says:

    Scott Harshbarger is a good man for the job. He’s intelligent, honest and fair.

  2. oversight says:

    Jack O’Brien should get his job back immediately and the political blackmailing by the judiciary and the politicians should stop going after him as the scapegoat. There has been a hiring freeze at the probation department for too long. They are promoting temp positions to replace employees who left there. Doesn’t anyone read the newspapers? There is day to day personnel issues that need to be addressed with over 2000 state employees. Let’s get off the pot Massachusetts.
    Scott Harshbarger, the first thing you should look into is the judge who hired Ware and why she really did it. There is history there no one wants to write about.

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