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Jury deliberations to continue Thursday in probation trial

Jurors are scheduled to return Thursday for a sixth day of deliberations in the corruption trial of former probation chief John J. O’Brien and two top aides.

Since getting the case last week, the jury of seven men and five women in US District Court have deliberated for more than 40 hours. They ended Wednesday without a decision.

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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.

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.

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