Jury finishes second day of deliberations in probation corruption trial

John O'Brien left the courthouse this week.
Jessica Rinaldi/Globe Staff
John O'Brien left the courthouse this week.

The jury in the Probation Department corruption trial has finished its second day of deliberations without reaching a verdict in the corruption case against former probation chief John J. O’Brien and two top aides.

Related: Bribery, patronage debated at trial’s end

The jury of seven men and five women is deciding charges against O’Brien and his deputies Elizabeth Tavares and William Burke III. Testimony in the trial began May 8, and 60 witnesses testified over 35 days.

As of Thursday, the jurors have deliberated just under 16 hours in the complex case.


The defendants are accused of running the department like a criminal enterprise, handing out jobs to the friends of state legislators in exchange for favors. They face charges including mail fraud, racketeering, and racketeering conspiracy.

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The defense has argued that their clients were simply practicing political patronage, which is legal.

Related coverage:

Spotlight Report: Patronage in the Probation Department

Farragher: Favoritism hurtled to a corrupt extreme

House colleagues say speaker system branded unfairly


Jury hears of power play in probation case

Robert DeLeo in glare at Probation hiring trial

Probation officials practiced simple patronage, lawyer says

Probation case focus on lawmakers may backfire

O’Brien declines to testify as prosecution rests


DeLeo denies trading favors for probation jobs

Ex-judge grilled on probation hiring

Yvonne Abraham: Grimy politics on display at probation trial

Milton J. Valencia can be reached at Follow him on Twitter @miltonvalencia.