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Report of Independent Counsel on Massachusetts Probation Department

Report of Independent Counsel on Massachusetts Probation Department

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Published by wgbhnews
The Massachusetts Supreme Court is ordering a massive shakeup at the state’s probation department, which includes the immediate dismissal of the Probation Commissioner John O’Brien. The move comes after an independent review found the state's probation department to be systematically corrupt.
The Massachusetts Supreme Court is ordering a massive shakeup at the state’s probation department, which includes the immediate dismissal of the Probation Commissioner John O’Brien. The move comes after an independent review found the state's probation department to be systematically corrupt.

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Published by: wgbhnews on Nov 19, 2010
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11/07/2011

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P
RIVILEGED AND
C
ONFIDENTIAL
 B
Y
O
RDER OF THE
S
UPREME
J
UDICIAL
C
OURT
 
LIBA/21225629
COMMONWEALTH OF MASSACHUSETTSSUFFOLK, ss: SUPREME JUDICIAL COURTIN THE MATTER OF THEPROBATION DEPARTMENTOF THE TRIAL COURTSJC No. 0E-123
REPORT OFTHE INDEPENDENT COUNSEL
November 9, 2010
!"#!$!"#!$!"#!$!"#!$%&#'()'!%&#'()'!%&#'()'!%&#'()'!****#!!!#!!!#!!!#!!!+ + + + 
 
 
P
RIVILEGED AND
C
ONFIDENTIAL
 B
Y
O
RDER OF THE
S
UPREME
J
UDICIAL
C
OURT
 
LIBA/21225629
 
EXECUTIVE SUMMARYI.Introduction
........................................................................................................................1
II.Conclusions
.........................................................................................................................2A.Discipline of Employees........................................................................... 41B.Corrective Action...................................................................................... 44C.Policy Changes.......................................................................................... 45D.Referrals to Prosecutorial Authorities....................................................... 47
BACKGROUND OF THE INVESTIGATIONI.The
 Boston Globe
Spotlight Story
...................................................................................49
II.The Order Establishing this Investigation
.....................................................................50
III.The Course of the Investigation
......................................................................................52A.Overview................................................................................................... 52B.Informal Interviews................................................................................... 53C.Sworn Testimony...................................................................................... 53D.Documents Collected................................................................................ 55
BACKGROUND OF THE MASSACHUSETTS PROBATION DEPARTMENTI.History of the Department
..............................................................................................57
II.Composition and Responsibilities of the Department
..................................................57
III.Leadership of the Department
........................................................................................59A.Commissioner John O’Brien..................................................................... 59B.The Probation Department Hierarchy....................................................... 61
IV.The Probation Department Budget
................................................................................63
V.Relationship between the Department and the Courts
................................................64
FINDINGS – HIRING AND PROMOTIONSI.Hiring and Promotion Authority in the Probation Department
.................................65A.Pre-2001.................................................................................................... 65B.Post-2001.................................................................................................. 66
II.Overview of the Hiring and Promotion Process Since 2001
........................................67A.Hiring Procedures Prior to 2001............................................................... 68B.The Hiring and Promotion Process Required by the AdministrativeOffice of the Trial Court After 2001......................................................... 70C.Probation Officers..................................................................................... 72D.Associate Probation Officers .................................................................... 76E.Assistant Chief Probation Officers ........................................................... 78F.Chief Probation Officers........................................................................... 80G.Community Corrections Centers............................................................... 821.Probation Officers in Charge........................................................ 822.Community Corrections Positions................................................ 84
 
P
RIVILEGED AND
C
ONFIDENTIAL
 B
Y
O
RDER OF THE
S
UPREME
J
UDICIAL
C
OURT
 
ii
LIBA/21225629
 H.Hiring within Electronic Monitoring........................................................86I.Other Hiring..............................................................................................87J.Hiring Freezes and Acting Positions.........................................................88
III.Manipulation of the Interview Process
..........................................................................89A.Introduction...............................................................................................89B.O’Brien’s Identification of Preferred Candidates.....................................91C.O’Brien Was Communicating Instructions, Not“Recommendations”.................................................................................97D.The Screening Panels..............................................................................100E.The Local Interview Panels....................................................................1081.Introduction.................................................................................1082.Interference Prior to 2001...........................................................1093.Testimony of Ellen Slaney..........................................................1114.Testimony of Edward Dalton......................................................1205.Testimony of Francis Campbell..................................................1266.Testimony of Richard O’Neil.....................................................1297.Testimony of Mark McHale........................................................1318.Testimony of Jeffrey Akers........................................................1339.Testimony of Brian Murphy.......................................................13510.Testimony of Dianne Fasano......................................................13811.Testimony of Edward Rideout....................................................13812.Testimony of Francine Ryan.......................................................13913.Testimony of Nicholas DeAngelis..............................................14114.Testimony of William Burke......................................................14515.Testimony of Stephen Bocko......................................................146F.Associate Probation Officer Hiring........................................................147G.Final Interview Panels (Other Than Chief Probation Officers)..............151H.Final Interview Panels (Chief Probation Officers).................................155I.Community Corrections Centers.............................................................1561.Probation Officers In Charge......................................................1562.Community Corrections Positions..............................................158J.Hiring Within ELMO..............................................................................160K.Other Hiring............................................................................................162
IV.Identification of Candidates Sponsored by Politicians
...............................................165A.The Collection of Names from Politicians, Judges, and Others.............166B.Sponsor Lists...........................................................................................170C.The Decision of which Candidates to Prefer..........................................173D.Reasons For Accommodating Legislators..............................................177E.Success of Sponsored Candidates...........................................................181F.Assurances Given to Politicians Concerning Candidates.......................183G.Hiring of Robert Ryan as a Chief Probation Officer..............................186
V.Allegations of “Pay for Play”
........................................................................................190A.Statistical Evidence of Pay for Play........................................................190B.Anecdotal Evidence of Pay for Play.......................................................194C.Allegations of Pay for Play in the
Globe
Spotlight Story.......................199

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