By Karen Anderson, WBZ-TV

BOSTON (CBS) – Beacon Hill is buzzing, waiting for federal indictments that are expected to be handed down in the Probation Department investigation.

The Attorney General has indicted the former Probation Commissioner, Jack O’Brien, on conspiracy charges.

He was back in court today, along with former aide to Treasurer Tim Cahill, Scott Campbell.

Prosecutors say O’Brien organized a campaign fundraiser for Cahill in exchange for a job for O’Brien’s wife at the Treasury.

It’s been more than a year since the Independent Council Report by Paul Ware was made public which identified statutes the US Attorney should look into.

On Tuesday, Ware said he has not spoken with the US Attorney about her investigation, but he had identified mail or wire fraud as possible charges to be filed.

Ware explained just how wide-reaching the statues can be.

“Mail fraud, for example is fairly wide reaching, and can be occasioned by mailing a rejection notice or an officer of a job,” he said. “If that job is a function of corruption or was a function of a political donation, that might well constitute mail fraud.”

“Broadly speaking, fraud simply means an illegal act for gain for some kind,” Ware added. “Doing something which is illegal, defrauding somebody is making a representation to them which is untrue for the purposes of gaining something in return. When that is a public official or public employee who is trying to exact or obtain a job, that may well constitute fraud.”

Ware’s report did not look specifically at any lawmakers. He did subpoena lawmakers however and says it is possible that the US Attorney’s investigation could involve a past legislator.

“There are conspiracy statues which may have the effect of sweeping in act which are several years, or many years in some cases, in the past,“ he said.

WBZ-TV’s Karen Anderson reports

US Attorney Carmen Ortiz has made is clear that cleaning up corruption on Beacon Hill is a priority of hers.

“I would think the United States Attorney would be most interested in the political corruption aspects, or the alleged political corruption aspects of the probation investigation,” Ware said.


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