I’ve shown how the Boston U.S. attorney will act like Pavlov’s dog in following anything that the Boston Globe’s Spotlight Team recommends. This was no more evident than in the Probation Department case in which the Globe demanded the U.S. attorney in Boston indict someone and sure enough patronage became a criminal act.
On May 23, 2010, the Globe did a spotlight report on Patronage in the Probation Department. Immediately after that report O’Brien was suspended from his job and in November of that year the Supreme Judicial Court based on the newspaper report ordered Judge Robert Mulligan to remove him from the job.
Now O’Brien got in trouble because he hired people based on recommendations by judges and legislators. One sure way to get the job was to have the Speaker of the Massachusetts House ask him to consider a candidate. Back in those days that would have been Sal DiMasi (2004 to 2009), presently serving time in federal prison, and the present Speaker Robert A. DeLeo who has held that position since 2009. The Globe is hoping DeLeo gets indicted so that he will be the 4th Speaker in a row to fall at the hands of the federals.
O’Brien when commissioner didn’t want to publicize that some of the jobs were being given out based upon recommendation by people who were referring candidates to him. He set up a system of doing it that tried to maintain its secrecy. The U.S. attorney in Boston turned that act of doing it secretly into a racketeering charge against him and two of his associates. It was a long reach to find a hook to make patronage into a crime. It had to be done because the pressure on the U.S. attorney to do that.
Now as I mentioned the other day the Boston federal prosecutors being unhappy with the sentence O’Brien received are now trying to put him in prison for additional time. But the problem is that they really are too late to do anything about it.
O’Brien was removed from his job in May, 2015 so anything he knows about what happened during his term in office will soon be beyond the five-year statute of limitations. Every contact which was made to him and every job which was given out is no longer relevant. Surely, the Boston U.S. attorney knows that so what’s up with the renewal of the investigation as reported in the Globe.
The prosecutors are going to pull one of their tricks out of the hat. You only have to think back to the trial of FBI agent John Connolly. He was indicted in December 1999 because Kevin Weeks made up a story about a meeting with him in December 1995 where he said Connolly told him to tell Whitey to flee because he was going to be indicted. Weeks was duly awarded for his story getting a sentence of one year for each of the 5 murders he committed. Connolly was indicted for numerous acts committed while he was an FBI agent 20 years earlier but acquitted by a jury of all the serious ones and convicted on a minor one.
So you can expect that even though any crimes that O’Brien may have committed with others had to occur before 2015, the federals will find some way to suggest that there was a subsequent act that continued that conspiracy even though it would seem once O’Brien was suspended it was impossible to continue whatever conspiracy he is alleged to have been involved in. If crimes were committed by people who may have conspired with O’Brien after O’Brien lost his position they could not be in advance of the conspiracy. That is over. No overt act afterwards can resurrect it.
Think of a conspiracy to rob a bank. If that is broken up prior to the robbery then it is over. If the parties get together afterwards to lie about what was done or to do something else illegal those are different crimes. They are not part of the conspiracy to rob the bank even though they may be part of a subsequent conspiracy.
This is a further showing that the Boston federal prosecutors are acting improperly in continuing to harass O’Brien by planning to use a ruse to bring crimes barred by the statute of limitations back into play. It’s time for them to get on to other work and work for all the people and not just the Boston Globe.