Unable To Tell Spit From Shinola: The Strange Prosecution of Probation Officer O’Brien

Shinola-300x300Sherman completed his march through Georgia to the Sea in half the time than the United States will take to complete the trial of John O’Brien, Elizabeth Taveres and another for racketeering in which the underlying crime was sending a letter through the mail. The last I read about the case was that the judge was wondering if the prosecution would hold to its commitment that the trial would last two months. The case started in early May.

The prosecutor oblivious to the torture being inficted on the jurors suggested it may go into August. The judge slipped letting his bias show when he indicated he had no problem with that. He said “this matter . . . alleges substantial matters of public concern. The government is entitled to put on a fair case. ” 

The Battle of the Bulge ( December 16, 1944 to January 25, 1945) and The Battle of Okinawa (early April to mid-June 1945) combined took less time than this will. The Sacco Vanzetti trial took six weeks. George Zimmerman was tried in a month. Otto Adolph Eichmann’s trial took four months. Timothy McVeigh’s trial began on March 31 and ended on June 13, 1997 with over 162 witnesses. Something was at stake in those cases or battles.

Here nothing is at stake. Three nobodies will sit in court day after day for four months because they engaged in patronage while witness after witness comes in and says they defendants practiced patronage. How does the judge think that it is fair such unimportant matters must go on for four months?

Judge Young’s suggestion that this case involves “substantial matters of public concern” shows how far removed those people who reside in the federal courthouse in Boston are from reality. The only ones concerned with this case are the friends and family of the defendants or people involved in the probation department and court system and the Boston Globe which instigated the case. I’d suggest that more people know the name of the second baseman and short stop of the Pawtucket Red Sox or the winner of the Italy/England game in the World Cup than the names of the co-defendants of O’Brien. I’d suggest more people were concerned with the fate of the mongrel dog on the tracks near a third rail than are about this case.

This is one of those cases that is really an inside baseball type of case. It has no effect on the public at large. No one was killed; no one was threatened; no one made rich; no goods stolen; no person violated; no gangsters, no art work, financial transactions, crooked bankers, guns, fires, drugs or lying to the FBI. It’s really a big zero other than the judge and the prosecutors want to make it into something that it is not.

Answer me honestly: Do you think patronage will now stop? Do you thing the legislators in powerful positions will no longer recommend people for positions? Do you think people who are in positions to hire will not listen to suggestions from politicians or judges anymore? Nothing will change as a result of this case. That is the great tragedy of it – so much time wasted on nothing.

The trial started with jury selection on May 5, 2014. We’ll soon be taking the July 4th weekend off to celebrate the founding of the nation. What’s 70-year-old Billy Burke going to celebrate? Who is he?  Good question. He’s the guy sitting next to O’Brien and Taveres at the trial. His attorney in a filing stated: ” “Notably, the indictment does not allege, and the prosecution has never claimed, that the defendants — career public servants who dedicated their lives to running a critical public safety agency — put a penny into their pockets or, indeed, did anything illegal for personal gain,

Don’t feel bad if you haven’t heard of Billy Burke – Judge Young himself was questioning what he was doing at the defense table saying the evidence against him to date, almost two months into the trial, was “tenuous.” Prosecutor Wyshak promised to dig something up on him. He alleges in his indictment that Burke’s daughter Mindy got a job as assistant program manager for the electronic monitoring program in Springfield. He goes on to say she “was not the most qualified candidate.”  Get your kid a job in Wyshak’s world you end up facing an indictment that calls for up to 20 years in jail.

If this case had any meat it should have been tried in a couple of weeks but it lacks substance so it becomes a pilotless ship at sea. I’m hoping the jury is smart enough to know “good things come in small” packages and what it is being presented with dairy farmers spread in the fields to aid the crops. There should be no convictions here except perhaps for O’Brien. If he’s done in then he should be sentenced to time served and sent home.

What’s that? He hasn’t served any time. You may think so but sitting in a courtroom for four months listening to Prosecutor Wyshak is equivalent to being on a chain gang for a few years.

5 thoughts on “Unable To Tell Spit From Shinola: The Strange Prosecution of Probation Officer O’Brien

  1. Matt: Is Fed the Fred’s vision of America or the DOJ’s vision of America or the Police State’s vision of America, the type of America we want to see? We know Professor Tortures visions are dangerous. We know all four’s visions (Academia’s, Police States, Fred the Fed prosecutorial zealot’s visions and the DOJ’s Big Brother Hyper Secretive in bed with Gangsters and Terrorists Vision (they call it the TEI program: it has good aspects and bad; it’s bad when they turn their TEI Laser Beam (a death ray or prosecutorial/investigative punishing stunning uber ray) against us. So, the American People don’t want the Neocon’s vision, the Imperialists’ vision, nor the Four Bully Boys’ vision; what do the people want? Freedom under the Constitution: Free Speech; Free Association; Freedom of Religion; Free Travel; Family, faith, sports, arts, friends, and spirited competition. What don’t we want: Fascism! Imperialism! Jihadism! A DOJ and state judicial systems running amock, trampling constitutional freedoms, bagging trials, ignoring precedents, inventing new and novel approaches to prosecutions. So, we all are in agreement. We know what We the People want and don’t want.
    SECOND: Now what did John Connolly get in the great state of FLORIDA? Answer: NOTHING BUT HEARTACHES. 1. His trial violated double jeopardy and the Supremacy Clause, but even so the jury acquitted him of first degree murder and conspiracy to commit murder; the jury convicted him of MURDER BY GUN, but even the trial judge said in open court the 4 year statute of limitations on that count had long run, and also to convict under that count, Fred the Fed had to have proven that John Connolly held the murder weapon in his hand at the time of murder. Murder by Gun is a Discrete Crime involving a discrete point in time and place. Well, John was 1,600 miles away on a beach in Martha’s Vineyard on vacation when serial killer and lifetime coward John Martorano once again shot in the back of the head another defenseless man, John Callahan, who Martorano said in Court was his friend. Why did Martorano kill Callahan; because earlier Callahan had hired him, Bulger, Flemmi and Halloran (Halloran decline the job offer and walked away from it) to kill Mr. Wheeler in Oklahoma. Who was Mr. Wheeler? He was John Callahan’s partner in World Jai Lai. What did John Connolly have to do with any of this, killers hiring killers, killers getting killed? Well, according to the novel evidence introduced formally in Miami for the first time, Steve Flemmi suddenly recalled in 2006 what John Connolly said iin 1982: and Flemmi practically breathless with excitement at this recently discovered memory or fabrication, rushed into the waiting arms of Fred the Fed Wyshak, and told him for the very first time: “Fred, I remember what you’ve been urging to remember for years; now I remember what Connolly said, “In 1982 he said, “If Callahan talks we’ll all be in trouble”; I remember this with perfect clarity, even though it’s the first time I’ve ever told anyone> Do I get out of jail early now, like you let Martorano, Fred? Do I?” Fred stood silent, a big evil smile, smirk on his face (I wasn’t there but Whitey Bulger told me this is what happened; he got it straight from Weeks) and then Fred said, “Not yet; we need someone to confirm, corroborate that.” Flemmi was miffed that Fred did not fully believe him. So Flemmi called up Johnny Martorano and said, “John, you have to say you remember Whitey said in 1982 that John Connolly said that if Callahan talked we’ll all go down.” Martorano said,, “O.K.” Of course Martorano who killed many people so they wouldn’t rat on him, had no problem lying on the witness stand; hey not only was a tough wise guy serial killer, he’d played football at Milton High and then transferred to tony prep school, where all truly hard guys get their street smarts: So, Martorano, the coward, said: “that’s easy, but hey why can’t I use the words you made up “we’ll all be in trouble in Callahan talks”?” With this Flemmi got mad: “You stupid idiot, if we use the exact same words they’ll suspect we made up the story, we had phony recovered memories, we were coached and rehearsed.” Martorano said, “Who coached us?” Flemmi said, “You dummy: Durham, Kelly and Wyshak coached us; Don’t your remember the guys who set you free for 12 years time for 20 murders. Hey you better be careful to keep your “memory” straight, otherwise it’s back in Stir (Prison Slang for Solitary Confinment.’
    So, now they had their stories straight, but it didn’t matter because Connolly was acquitted, and only convicted of Murder by Gun which Martorano testified in open court that he was the one who did the Murder by Gun in a Miami Airport; and even he testified he didn’t even know who Connolly was, never met him, never communicated with him and he had plenty of motive to kill Callahan because if Callahan talked, Martorano, Flemmi and Bulger would be facing murder raps in 1982 in Oklahoma, a death penalty state. How could Martorano have lunch with Sal, Sony, Pat Nee and Kevin Weeks at the L-Street Lounge if he were on death row in some Oklahoma Hell Hole.
    O.K., Bill, get to the point. O.K. the point is everyone knows Flemmi, Martorano, Weeks, Salemme, Morris and Nee lie like rugs. but what the Miami Trial Judge, Blakely or Blake or Bakke’s his name, did not know was that the Statute of Limitations (SOL) defense can be raised at any time? Who says so? SCOTUS says so. America’s Highest Court says so: And that’s called Constitution Laws: the US Constitution, plus its Amendments, plus some foreign treaties (promises we make to other countries) plus however the Supreme Court of the United States (SCOTUS) interprets the Constitution, Amendments, Treaties or interprets any other federal law, REgulation, rule, policy or executive order or act, that equals CONSTITUTIONAL LAW. I
    In brief, Constitional Law is what SCOTUS says it is, and what the Constitution itself says, (plus the treaties). So, I’d say, in a nutshell, that Constitutional Law is 1. Our written, duly enacted U.S. Constitution; 2. Our written, duly enacted AMENDMENTS to that original Constitution and 3. SCOTUS’S interpretation thereof: What about the treaties? Well, the Highest Laws of our Land, above all State Laws, above all State Constitutions, even above Fred the Fed Wyshak’s bizarre interpretations of criminal laws (see the RICO ACT, and the lying to an fbi agent act (not suppose to be lies about immaterial matters: did you call your barber this morning; what about last year, did you have your hair cut on any second Tuesday of any month?), above all laws, even MBTA policies and procedures, are (1) the U.S. Constitution and (2) SCOTUS’s written interpretations thereof and 3-minus: the treaties. These are the Supreme Laws, although as we see, the treaties are very lowly supremes.
    So, Judge Bacon incorrectly said that Connolly’s defense team raised the SOL defense two weeks too late, because under the Supreme Law of America, it’s never too late to raise an SOL defense. Which means that John Connolly should have left that Miami courtroom a wholly free man six years ago. But Fred the Fed urged on by neoliberals in Harvard Square and Fascists at the Globe (identical twins, those two cluster f s) said, “But wait: What about the Enhancement Act?” To which the judge wrongly said, Oh Yeah, and sentenced John Anyway. The problem with Enhancement: First, the ACT itself specifically excludes “laws which have as an essential element the carrying of a gun” so the Murder by Gun statute cannot be enhanced? Of course not. How do you enhance Murder by Gun by having a gun? Can’t be done. Secondly, paragraph 4 of the enhancement statute says enhancement only applies if you got a gun in your hand at the time of the crime and that gun is the gun used in the commission of the crime. Obviously, Enhancement doesn’t apply to John Connolly: he’s swimming off the Vineyard (Remember our pal Lee Sullivan used to swim from Falmouth to Martha’s Vineyard –what 2-3 miles— a breeze for Lee, the former Secret Service Man “Secret Agent Man, Secret Agent Man”; anyway John was good swimmer to, as was I and many of us; I got tired after about one hour one hour and a half in the ocean waters off Falmouth, Hyannisport, Centeerville, or Martha’s Vineyard; I got tired in 10 minutes off South Beach. So, Enhancement can’t apply to Murder by Gun and can’t apply to John Connolly’s case; (BTW COYNE AND JOHN CONNOLLY LOVED SAILING BOATS; JOHN ALSO LIKED MOTOR BOATS. I NEVER LIKED BOATS. I LOVED FALMOUTH HEIGHTS AND FORT LAUDERDALE: MY TWO FAVORITES BACK IN THE DAY.
    Finnally, Matt, it gets better: and Thomsas More and Ming Lee would appreciated, but Doctor timothy leary wouldn’t (not our Timmy O’Leary) but he of LSD repute Ph.D. Timothy Leary’s dead.) Here’s the best part: You know that Enhancement Statute: I’ve mentioned the first paragraph (opening first lines, in fact) and paragraph 4 requiring actual possession of the gun (firearm) at time of the actual crime. Well, here’s what Paragraph (5) says: “Law Enforcement Officials are excluded from the provisions of the Enhancement Act.” Was John Connolly with the FBI in 1982? Was Lee Sullivan with the DEP? Was COYNE in private practice? Was Billy Bulger Senate President? Was I at DEP going to Suffolk Law nights with Tom Collins the aeronautical engineer MIT grad from Neponset, Saint Anns, and were we all just two years away from seeing Flutie throw the Hail Mary Miracle in Miami Pass in 1984: me, neal, John Connolly, Jimmy Concannon, Coyne I think, and 300 other guys from Southie, Dorchester were there. The Answer is Yes!!!
    I’ll post now and hopefully there are not too many errors. Got to hit the head!!! Peace, Brother Bill!

  2. Matt: I’m up early, feel pretty good, and have been re-reading past posts and comments. I liked your choice phrase, paraphrasing, “The Feds don’t know shit from shinola in the Probation prosecution.” Beyond that, how evil is it for the big, bad, powerful federal government to single out 2 men and 1 woman for prosecution, when those 3 have done nothing more than every head, deputy, asst. commiss; assist director or personnel chief in state, local, county and federal government, have been doing for 250 plus years in America, at least. It’s the responsibility of a few in each Agency, Department, Commission, gov’t body or quasi-gov’t body to make hiring decisions. Today the corrupt regime in the DOJ under Ortiz but including most prominently Fred the Fed Wyshak have singled out 3 career civil servants and tried to make into 20 year felonies generally acceptable, traditionl, time tested, workable, reasonable, humane hiring methods (by the book hiring, with a couple of teaspoonfuls of patronage thrown in for good measure: patronage is defined as taking into consideration or giving a little head start to the preferred candidates of a judge, pol, professor, Globe Editors’, former colleague, or even well known sibling, son or daughter of a pol, businessmen, violinist with symphony, or football coach at Northeastern. Some respected member of the Community says, ‘Hey, hire this guy, he’d be a good choice, he’s highly qualified, he’s young, works hard, contributed to local YMCA and Stop Cancer Programs, I know his kith and kin, give him an extra look, would you? I strongly recommend him” singed Joe Blow, head of the Arts Council or Chamber of Commerce or B.U.’s Athletic Departments, or a Congressman, Cardinal, Rabbi, State Rep, Mayor or owner of a local Shoe Store. Fred the Fed wants to stop Americans exercising their constitutional rights of free speech (can’t write letters of recommendation; can’t call up on behalf of a job seeker)? Or does Fred the FED Wyshak want to stop the HIRERS, the Commisioners, the Directors of Personnel, the Deputy Chiefs of Police/Fire/EMT services,, Hospital Directors, Assistant Chief Probation Officers recommendations, or Asst Directors of DEP from STOP considering LETTERS OF Recommendation, unless they come from Harvard Faculty? I mean exactly what new rules of government hiring are Fred the Fed Wyshak and Ms. Carmen Ortiz proposing? Please tell us now. Conclusion: I took a great course on ADMINISTRATIVE LAW at Suffolk Law, taught by a beloved professor and long time State Rep or State Senator—look up the guy who wrote the MPS series on Administrative Law—that’s him: he was about my age now then, and I thought he was brilliant; me and Tom Collins a Dot Guy with a degree in Aeronatical Engineering from MIT (or Northeastern) at St. Ann’s guy, thought several professors were brilliant and scintillating while many young people didn’t think they were “cool” enough. Anyway having worked in Bureaucracies for 10 years (2 with USPHS) 2 with Welfare/Nursing Homes and 6 as a consultant (hired with Fed funds or under Commonwealth 03 Consulting Accounts) and studying Administrative Law under the Maestro, I got to love the field of Administrative Law and used my knowledge to help COYNE with a number of sticky issues. Why I bring this up is this: Fred the FED Wyshak wants to change long standing Administrative Practices, not by duly enacted statutes, rules, CMR regulations, policies adopted pursuant to and in accordance with such written, duly promulgated, duly adopted rules, regulations and statutes (all subject to public hearings/public debate) but Fred the Fed wants to circumvent all that and change the System through Criminal Prosecution of Men and Women who were simply doing their jobs. I suspect behind Fred the Fed Wyahak is a Harvard Law Professor or Professsors (of Sterns, Dershowitz’s, or Stearn’s Ilk) who have a “vision” how to make America better and are hell bent on doing so by “laying down” and running roughshod over or right through “every law in England (America) as Thomas More told Thomas Cromwell: “And when you’ve done that, Fred the Fed Wyshak, all the laws being gutted and laid flat in your Les Miserables’ miserable hunt for evil Irish-Italian-Jewish Americans (one an MIT computer genius student idealist) when you’ve flattened all these laws gendarme, chief inspector, chief prosecutor Javez (I mean Chief Prosecutors Ortiz and Wyshak) then who the hell is going to protect you when the Rabble or Devil turns against you? If you can event new laws sua spontee and manufacture new crimes sua sponte, then so can we, The Rabble in Arms, America’s Rabble in Arms? Do you think you usurpers of constitutional powers, you deprivers of constitutional rights, you who use the Judiciary to punish opponents and selectively interpret and selectively enforce the laws are any match for We the People. The People see through your chicaneries and abuses. We won’t stand for it. “In America, it is better that Government fear the people, than the people fear the Government.” Tremble in your black-boots, Fred: Fear! There will be an accounting: if not in this world, then in the next: “Do you hear the people sing?” A new day will down, and your type of tyranny will be back in the ash heap of history.
    Matt, unmixing the metaphors, the point is, with the same excess prosecutorial zeal and lack of discretion, Fred the Fed is going after the probation officers in the exact same way he went after John Connolly in Florida and his office went after others in in Boston: They single out men and women who are doing their jobs (Taveres, O’Brien, Connolly – – even Dimasi and McDonough I suspect—certainly Finneran and Flaherty and the MIT student hacker and the bookie’s wife) and they selectively enforce novel interpretations of Statutes, Regulations, Rules and Policies (both criminal and administrative statutes) and they prosecute selectively and brutally until everyone faced with the loss of their life’s work, their pensions, their worth, their homes, their possessions, starts Singing whatever Fred the Fed or JAVIER want them to sing. THE END RESULT: on state and federal levels there are rippling effects from one to the other, we get wholesale prosecutions of innocent people just doing their jobs, government witnesses paid to lie (the government witnesses as with Flemmi, MARTORANO, are usually the real evil ones Fred the Fed set frees for perchased perjuries) and everyone fearful of their government and their government wearing Black Boots and Goosestepping.

  3. Matt, Neal, Doug: all great posts: I hope this becomes a campaign issue throughout the country: Is our Federal Government hiring grotesque zealots, nincompoops, incompetents like Fred the Fed Wyshak, who are obviously less qualified than many others to perform their jobs in the Justice Department? On its face, the answer is yes? Come to think of it, how many people hired for a job are more qualified than all other actual and potential job candidates? Few if any? I hope the campaigners are asked how many judges, prosecutors and other FED workers they know were “the best” person to hire? Was Carmen Ortiz the BEST? I hear Allan Dershowitz was available. Wasn’t a Harvard Law Professor far better than a lowly prosecutor/lawyer? I know whatever job I ever got in life—about 10 of 40 years was in government—I was far less qualified than many other people who were out there looking, applying or potentially available? Will FRED the FED prosecute all my former bosses?
    2. When I worked for about five years at the Commonwealth’s Department of Environmental Protection (DEP/formerly Dept. of Environmental Quality Engineering: a lot of engineers worked there; it was a benign, competent, largely dedicated Engineering State; little trace of any Police State Mentality). Everyone worked at a least 8 hours a day; some many more; most put in a good 5 hours work in and 8 hour day; in the private sector, most put in 6 hours work in an 8 hour day, according to various “time-motion-work” studies. The point is all worked hard, all were honest, all were smart (no geniuses, thank God), and all received letters of recommendations from supporters, many in Academia and Politics, some in Government Executive Branch. All felt they owed their jobs to someone else’s help, influence, a phone call, a letter of recommendation; even the Civil Service gave credit to their “sponsors” and “Promoters” and many to Mayors and Legislators who went to bat for them. None of them was the most qualified and all would admit there were others more qualified them; there are at any given time, like electrons circling atoms, highly qualified people looking for a break; patience, usually, finds the good and qualified a government position, with a little boost from a sponsor/neighbor/formerprofesssor/or pol.
    2. Nothing will change; nothing has changed in 3,000 years of central government (Chinese and Egyptians are among the first.) Here’s the anecdote that illustrates Normality in Government. DEP Assistant Director, soon to be Assistant Commissioner, worked there for 30 years, let’s say; He’s real; No need to bring up his name; this is when I was there from 1981-1986, while going to Suffolk Law nights. Tom was smart, competent, very personable, tough minded, and a good, tough, executive decision maker. He was as honest as could be. Six hundred people worked under him; about 250 I’d say in the big downtown office; we had in-house lawyers, in-house lobbyists who were up the State House every day pitching our agencies’ needs to legislators (every state agency did); and we hired lots of people. Well, it got apparent, a key administrative assistance would soon retire, and there’d have to a skilled secretary/administrative.assistant/officemanager/shrink/jackofalltrades to take her place. At least she’d have to be a college grad with good secretarial/clerical/interpersonal/management skills. We found a gem, and after she was working six months or so everyone knew we had. Who had the Commissioner hired? After considering all the candidates, it arguably wasn’t the “most qualified”; the person hired was certainly less qualified than many; the person hired was young, a year or two out of college, but a joy to work with and a personal dynamo—like her father. The Commissioner hired Tom’s daughter. You can call that patronage. We all called that picking a competent qualified young person with a bright promising future before her and the likelihood she would remain with DEP for many years. Her Dad retired. She was still there, but I had handed in my letter of resignation before his retirement, when I moved into the private sector with COYNE. Is Fred the FED Wyshak going to change that? He’s delusional if he thinks he will or if he thinks it should be changed. I mean exactly what evils in society has he been fighting these last 20 years? MIT Students, Honest Civil Servants, bookies’ wives, honest cops, people from Southie and Dorchester and Brighton? We know who he hasn’t prosecuted: Top Drug Traffickers; Terrorists; Serial Killing Gangsters, major Mafioso-OrgCrimeTypes (they’d all been put in jail by Connolly and his cohorts long before Wyshak came on the scene). Well what did the Fred the Fed Wyshakk do vis a vis crime in the 1990s, 200s, or to punish past serious criminals from the 60s, 70s, 80s? Nothing. In fact, he released serial killers, treated them with kid gloves, he released career gangsters like Weeks, Nee etc., he released admittedly corrupt, deeply corrupt cops (FBI Agent John Morris, a known briber and conspirer to murder); he didn’t lay a glove on major Oxy dealers; major heroin; major opiate guys (I read yesterday that 2% of babies born in Massachusetts now and last year were born addicted to narcotics. Two in one hundred. An enormity. Drug trafficking and abuse have sky rocket under Wyshak’s rule; Why? Who’s getting paid off? Let’s not talk about Terrorists and Terrorism flourishing under Wyshak’s regime. We all witness the horror, the grotesque evil unleashed upon us while the FEDs were asleep on deck; We know Wyshak favors Congressmen, big whigs, and treats their wives with kid gloves.
    Thanks for reading. It’s late. Good night. Tomorrow’s another Day.

  4. light for John Conlee trial, I think the problem here is the empty chairs. You obviously have mentioned this,but there has to be some sort of conspiracy to defraud the state or whatever here.I wonder if it could be made an issue in the Attorney General’s race. That would be fun.

  5. This trial demonstrates how completely out of touch the prosecutors and judges are. What a waste of money. Gross hypocrisy. The very same prosecutor and judge gave special treatment to the Congressman’s wife. The entity that funds their positions. Yet now they find wrongdoing in others for the exact act they engaged in. It also demonstrates the utter uselessness of the federal government. But nothing will change until a few good jurors say no to this abuse and refuse to convict these defendants or any others on manufactured crimes. Term limit judges and prosecutors.

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