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The Boston Globe

Metro

Power, patronage are put on trial

Probation officials described in court

To prosecutors, he was a power-hungry bureaucrat who bribed legislators with jobs for their friends and family members so that he could build his own political empire as head of the Probation Department.

John J. O’Brien’s lawyer called him a hard worker, a public servant who simply played the game of patronage that typifies politics on Beacon Hill.

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