The Associated Press

Mass. Probation Department To Reopen 10 Jobs

BOSTON — An arbitrator has ordered the state Probation Department to reopen 10 jobs after determining that former leaders of the agency improperly promoted less qualified, but politically connected candidates.

Monday’s decision means hundreds of employees who applied for the positions when former commissioner John O’Brien was in charge will be offered an opportunity to apply again. Those people already in the jobs also have to reapply, and could be removed.

David Holway, president of the National Association of Government Employees, which sued to refill the positions, told The Boston Globe the union is “overjoyed.”

O’Brien has pleaded not guilty to federal charges including racketeering and conspiracy for overseeing what authorities have called a rigged hiring process in which applicants were hired not on the basis of qualifications, but based on connections.

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