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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.

    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.

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

    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.