During the opening of the Probation Department corruption trial in May, lawyers for the three defendants stood before jurors and pointed out who was absent — the legislators who allegedly accepted bribes.
Over the next 10 weeks of the trial, prosecutors accused legislative leaders such as Senate President Therese Murray and House Speaker Robert A. DeLeo of influencing hiring in the Probation Department.
Last week, prosecutors focused on DeLeo, accusing him of quid pro quo bribery by doling out legislative favors in exchange for probation jobs for friends, including those of legislators whose vote DeLeo was seeking in his bid for House speaker.
The focus on DeLeo has renewed questions about why — if legislators accepted jobs for their friends in exchange for votes — no legislators were sitting at the defense table.
“If this is a bribery case, how come this person isn’t charged?” Stephen G. Huggard, a defense attorney with Edwards Wildman and a former federal prosecutor and former head of the US attorney’s public corruption unit in Boston, asked of DeLeo. Huggard questioned the fairness of accusing DeLeo of quid quo pro bribery if US Attorney Carmen Ortiz chose not to indict him.
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