It is time to clean house.
The report on the Probation Department released this week by Independent Counsel Paul F.Ware, together with the Globe Spotlight Team’s report on Rep. Thomas Petrolati published in October and the Globe’s earlier report on Probation Department Commisioner John O’Brien paint a depressingly familiar picture of how business is conducted on Beacon Hill.
Both DeLeo and Petrolati were part of the patronage system that filled the Probation Department (and many other departments) with their relatives, friends and campaign contributors. Indeed, Petrolati seems to have been at the heart of it. For example Ware’s report states:
“Candidates sponsored by politicians had a remarkable success rate in being hired or receiving promotions… Speaker DeLeo appears as a sponsor for 12 candidates, and was successful in having seven of them, 58.4%, hired or promoted.” (page 11)
“Underscoring the quid pro quo nature of the arrangement, one of the legislative liaisons tasked with helping create the Sponsor Lists testified that the legislators with the greatest sway were those in leadership positions…” (page 22)
“…DeLeo and Petrolati also appear on a list of the twenty most-frequent recipients of contributions from Probation Department employees since 2000.” (page 23-24) (Actually Petrolati is #1, with almost twice as many contributions as any other legislator, and DeLeo is #9. The vast majority of contributions to both were from people outside their districts, and in most cases those people got promotions after their contributions.)
“Executive Director Price testified that he routinely received calls from many politicians or their staff, including Representative Petrolati, former Speaker DiMasi, Speaker DeLeo,…” (page 158)
And on an on and on. Criminal investigations to follow (see section 7 of Ware’s report: “7. Fraudulent Hiring and Promotion May Constitute Criminal Conduct There is credible legal support for the conclusion that the fixing by public officials of a putatively objective interview process for hiring and promotions in favor of politically-connected applicants constitutes criminal conduct in violation of federal fraud statutes.” (page 25)
How can these men possibly retain their leadership positions?