Edward Dolan named as new chief of Probation Service recovering from scandal

Edward Dolan, commissioner of the Department of Youth Services, has been named as the new commissioner of the Probation Service, court leaders said today.

“We are pleased to appoint a respected criminal justice professional of Ed Dolan’s caliber to head the Massachusetts Probation Service,” Trial Court Chief Justice Robert A. Mulligan and Court Administrator Harry Spence said in a statement.

The officials said Dolan had “proven his leadership capability at several organizations during times of significant challenge and opportunity. He has the vision, problem solving and organizational development skills, as well as the knowledge of the court system and criminal justice issues in Massachusetts, to accelerate the restoration of professionalism to the Probation Service.”

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Dolan is also a former executive director of the state Parole Board. He begins a five-year term on June 10.

A Peabody resident, Dolan has a master’s in public administration from Syracuse University and bachelor’s in government from University of Massachusetts Amherst.

Ellen G. Slaney had been serving as acting commissioner.

A patronage scandal several years ago swept longtime Commissioner John J. O’Brien and most of his deputies out of their jobs. New leaders have been trying to to erase the legacy of cronyism, secrecy, and ineptitude from 12 years under O’Brien, the Globe reported in April.

O’Brien, who resigned in 2010, is now facing charges of racketeering and bribing state lawmakers by giving jobs to their supporters, friends, and relatives. But he was recently acquitted of state bribery charges, the Globe reported.