• Ex-Mass. probation chief now faces federal charges


    BOSTON (AP) — The former commissioner of the Massachusetts Probation Department, acquitted this month of state corruption charges, is now facing federal bribery charges.

    A federal indictment handed up Wednesday charges John O'Brien with 17 counts of bribing state legislators by giving jobs to their supporters, friends, and relatives in exchange for boosts to his department's budget and other political favors.

    The Boston Globe (http://b.globe.com/ZQCMJf ) reports the indictment alleges O'Brien bribed Senate President Therese Murray and House Speaker Robert DeLeo.

    The indictment says O'Brien and two deputies did "conspire, confederate, and agree to give jobs and salaries" to candidates promoted by state legislators "in order to influence" them.

    O'Brien's attorneys did not return calls.

    O'Brien resigned after an independent counsel found he oversaw a rigged hiring system in which the politically connected got department jobs.

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