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No verdict after day 5 of deliberations in probation trial

John J. O’Brien

Ted Fitzgerald/The Boston Herald/Pool photo

John J. O’Brien

The jury in the corruption trial of former probation chief John J. O’Brien and two top aides ended Tuesday without a verdict, marking the fifth day of closed-door conversation a Boston courthouse.

Since getting the case last week, the jury of seven men and five women in US District Court have deliberated for nearly 38 hours. They are scheduled to return Wednesday.

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O’Brien and two top deputies, Elizabeth Tavares and William Burke III, are charged with unlawfully doling out jobs to the friends and family members of the politically connected in exchange for favors from state legislators.

Related: Probation trial jury submitted 281 questions to judge

Prosecutors allege that the probation officials committed fraud by creating a bogus hiring process to make it look as though they were complying with policies and procedures.

Defense attorneys argue that nothing their clients did was illegal, that it was simply patronage typical of Beacon Hill politics.

Related coverage:

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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 mvalencia@globe.com. Follow him on Twitter @miltonvalencia.
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