Governor: Globe report on House leader's attempt to block Probation Department probe 'very troubling'
Governor Deval Patrick described as "very troubling" today's Globe report that state Representative Thomas M. Petrolati, the House's third-ranking leader, is seeking to block his testimony before a special counsel investigating the State Probation Department.
"The probation department has become a rogue agency with a complete lack of transparency, and oversight," Patrick said in a statement to the Globe.
Independent counsel Paul F. Ware had ordered Petrolati to appear before him last week to respond to allegations about his efforts to secure probation jobs for his family, friends, and supporters, the Globe reported today. Ware also wanted to see documents about Petrolati's relationship with Probation Commissioner John J. "Jack" O'Brien, who was suspended from his job in May after the Globe revealed a pattern of political favoritism in hiring.
But Petrolati has objected in legal documents filed with the Supreme Judicial Court Friday, saying Ware is not authorized to investigate legislators.
Patrick today urged the Legislature to pass the bill he filed in January that would put the agency under the governor's control.
He also urged "everyone -- probation management, staff, as well as legislators -- to cooperate fully with the investigation, to make sure we get all the facts needed to fix what is broken."
Petrolati has a long history of placing employees in probation jobs, including his wife, who holds a high-level management
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