Boston mayor defending convicted ex-probation boss

Says he dosen't think O'Brien did anything ilegal

(AP Photo/Elise Amendola)
(AP Photo/Elise Amendola)

BOSTON (AP) — Boston Mayor Martin Walsh is coming to the defense of former state probation commissioner John O’Brien, who was convicted by a federal jury last week of charges he rigged the department’s hiring process to favor politically-connected applicants.

During an interview on WGBH-FM, Walsh said he did not think O’Brien’s actions were criminal or that he should have been found guilty.

Walsh acknowledged that he did not know all the facts in the case and had not read the trial testimony.

Federal prosecutors said O’Brien steered jobs to candidates backed by powerful state legislators, often at the expense of more qualified applicants. O’Brien and two former deputies face sentencing in November.

Walsh said when he served in the Legislature it was expected of lawmakers that they write letters of recommendation for constituents.

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