Former Massachusetts Probation Commissioner John O’Brien has been sentenced to 18 months in federal prison.
Former state probation commissioner John O’Brien has been found guilty in a scheme to rig the agency’s hiring process to favor applicants who had the backing of powerful state legislators, often at the expense of more qualified job candidates.
It’s now up to a federal jury to decide a case that has focused attention on the patronage culture in state government in Massachusetts.
O’Brien, William Burke and Elizabeth Tavares are accused of trying to curry favor with powerful lawmakers by funneling jobs to politically connected applicants at the expense of more qualified candidates.
Three top state probation officials oversaw a rigged hiring process and handed out jobs like “lollipops” to applicants sponsored by powerful legislators and other public officials, a federal prosecutor told a jury on Thursday.
Former commissioner John O’Brien and deputies Elizabeth Tavares and William Burke are charged with rigging the agency’s hiring apparatus to secure jobs for people who had been recommended by powerful state legislators
Three former state probation department officials were charged with setting up a “rigged hiring system” that favored job applicants sponsored by powerful state lawmakers.
Another top official with the state Probation Department has resigned in the midst of a hiring scandal.