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After Report, DeLeo Promises Probation Reforms

Massachusetts House Speaker Robert DeLeo is vowing to lead reform of the state Probation Department in the wake of a scathing report on the department's hiring practices.

“The findings of the Independent Counsel in his report ... are severe, significant and disturbing," DeLeo said in the statement. "It is clear the Probation Department cries out for reform and, as the Speaker of the House, I intend to lead these reform efforts."

The report ordered by the Supreme Judicial Court alleged corrupt hiring and promotion practices at the department.

DeLeo said the structure of the department is flawed and said he'll work with colleagues to immediately craft legislation to address the flaws. He promised to "restore the public's faith in the Probation Department."

DeLeo said he met with Gov. Deval Patrick on Tuesday to talk about Probation. Patrick has argued the department should be combined with the parole board and brought under the control of the governor's office.

In another statement, DeLeo also said Rep. Thomas Petrolati — who is accused of accepting numerous donations from Probation employees and who refused to cooperate with the investigation — will not seek reappointment as speaker pro tempore of the House.

DeLeo said he and the Ludlow representative "mutually agreed (Petrolati stepping down) would be in the best interests of the House."Earlier:

This program aired on November 23, 2010. The audio for this program is not available.

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