A federal public defender has been appointed to represent John J. O’Brien, the former state probation commissioner charged with racketeering. US Magistrate Judge Timothy Hillman agreed Thursday to appoint Stylianus Sinnis to represent O’Brien, after refusing to appoint two lawyers O’Brien had hand-picked. O’Brien and two codefendants are accused of racketeering conspiracy and mail fraud for allegedly running a rigged hiring and promotional system in the probation department that rewarded those with political connections. They were indicted in March.
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