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Top Lawmakers React To Probation Dept. Indictments; Deny Misconduct

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BOSTON (AP) — Legislative leaders are denying any misconduct following the indictment of three former probation department officials accused of rigging the agency’s hiring process to favor politically-connected applicants.

House Speaker Robert DeLeo said in a statement Friday that he only recommended candidates who he believed were qualified for jobs in the department.

Senate President Therese Murray said in a separate statement that she had no control over hiring at probation and that the indictment does not suggest she was aware of any wrongdoing.

Both leaders pointed to a new state law aimed at reforming hiring practices in the department.

No legislators were charged in the federal indictment that names former probation commissioner John O’Brien and two former deputies.

Gov. Deval Patrick said Friday that Massachusetts residents “deserve a probation department they can have confidence in.”

(© Copyright 2012 The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)

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