You can now read 10 articles each month for free on BostonGlobe.com.

The Boston Globe

Opinion

Opinion | Tom Keane

Indictments, then politics as usual

TWO HIGH-PROFILE prosecutions — one against senior officials in the state’s Probation Department, another aimed at former treasurer Tim Cahill — are after more than mere convictions. They seek instead to change entirely the culture of politics in Massachusetts. More likely, all they’ll do is just drive deeper underground the behaviors they target.

Two weeks ago, US Attorney Carmen Ortiz unveiled indictments against the Probation Department’s former head, John O’Brien, as well as two senior staffers. Ortiz charged that the department routinely ignored civil service rules, “institut[ing] a hiring system that catered to requests of Massachusetts legislators.’’ Ten days later, state Attorney General Martha Coakley dropped her own bombshell, indicting Cahill and two of his aides for using Lottery advertisements to promote Cahill’s image while he was embroiled in a campaign for governor.

Your comment is subject to the rules of our Posting Policy

This comment may appear on your public profile. Public Profile FAQ

You have reached the limit of 10 free articles a month

Stay informed with unlimited access to Boston’s trusted news source.

  • High-quality journalism from the region’s largest newsroom
  • Convenient access across all of your devices
  • Today’s Headlines daily newsletter
  • Subscriber-only access to exclusive offers, events, contests, eBooks, and more
  • Less than $1 a week