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AG Coakley Announces Indictments In Probation Probe

Former Massachusetts Probation Commissioner John O'Brien and the chief of staff to former state Treasurer Timothy Cahill have been charged with conspiring to set up a campaign fundraiser for Cahill in exchange for landing a job for O'Brien's wife at the state Lottery.

Attorney General Martha Coakley announced the indictments on Monday against O'Brien and Scott Campbell. She said they were part of a continuing investigation by her public corruption unit.

"[Monday's] indictment reflects just the beginning, not the end, of the work of our public integrity division in looking at hiring in Probation and other political corruption matters," Coakley said.

Campbell has separately been indicted on charges he concealed the identity of donors to Cahill's campaign for governor in 2010.

O'Brien has also been indicted on charges he made a false report to the trial court on the promotion of an assistant chief probation officer.

A call to O'Brien's lawyer was not immediately returned. It wasn't immediately clear if Campbell had a lawyer.

O'Brien was at the center of a probe by the state Supreme Judicial Court, which oversees the department, into its hiring and promotion policies. That probe found "an understanding" between certain legislators and O'Brien linking the department's appropriations to O'Brien's willingness to give jobs to applicants recommended by the lawmakers.

O'Brien was suspended and later resigned.

Last month Gov. Deval Patrick signed into law a bill creating a standard hiring process for all court and probation officers.

With reporting by The Associated Press and the WBUR Newsroom

This program aired on September 19, 2011. The audio for this program is not available.

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