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The Boston Globe


Finneran granted immunity in probation probe

Former House speaker Thomas M. Finneran has been given immunity to testify in the grand jury investigation of the scandal-plagued state Probation Department, say two people briefed on Finneran’s arrange­ment with federal prosecutors.

While speaker, Finneran oversaw the transfer of power to hire probation officers from the judiciary to John J. O’Brien, a protege and jogging partner who was then probation commissioner. O’Brien used that power to ­devise a rigged and fraudulent hiring process, say prosecutors and Paul F. Ware, the independent counsel hired by the ­Supreme Judicial Court to investigate the Probation Depart­ment.

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