BOSTON (AP) — A state probation official faces federal charges that he intimidated a witness during a probe of the embattled department.

Christopher Hoffman was arrested Wednesday and charged with two counts of obstruction of justice.

The 39-year-old Hatfield resident was the acting chief probation officer at Hampshire Superior Court until he was placed on administrative leave in October.

Federal prosecutors say Hoffman harassed and intimidated another probation officer, Maureen Adams, who was scheduled to be interviewed by an FBI agent in an investigation of fraudulent hiring practices in the probation department.

According to an affidavit, Hoffman told Adams he would tell everyone “you are a rat” and predicted she’d be in jail within a week.

Hoffman is due in U.S. District Court in Worcester later Wednesday. It wasn’t immediately known if he had an attorney.

Copyright 2011 The Associated Press.


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