Patrick Makes Major Changes To Parole Board After Cop Killing

BOSTON — Gov. Deval Patrick has accepted the resignations of all five members of the state Parole Board who voted to release a career criminal authorities say later shot and killed a Woburn police officer.

The changes come as the Executive Office of Public Safety made public its look into the release of Dominic Cinelli, a parolee who was shot and killed the day after Christmas in a shootout with officers during a department store robbery.

Woburn officer Jack Maguire was killed while responding to that robbery.

"All five board members who voted to parole Mr. Cinelli have resigned," Patrick said. "I realize they have worked hard in a difficult job doing their best. I appreciate they have resigned in the interest of regaining the confidence of the public in parole itself."

The governor plans to nominate a new board soon, he said.

Patrick also accepted the resignation of the board's executive director, among other planned personnel changes.

Suffolk County First Assistant District Attorney Josh Wall is becoming the interim director and Patrick said he'll nominate Wall to become the new board chairman.

Patrick also said he would file legislation to strengthen guidelines for so-called "habitual offenders" and continue a moratorium on lifer hearings until further reviews are completed.

Some critics of the Parole Board welcomed the governor's actions Thursday.

"The report was filed in a short period of time," said Woburn Police Chief Philip Mahoney. "He came back and took direct action. You can't ask any better than that of a public official."

Patrick made the changes after noting the state has lost confidence in the parole system.

Maguire's brother, Chuck Maguire, said later Thursday that he was ecstatic with the governor's "strong" actions.

Cinelli was paroled in 2008 while serving three life sentences.

The Patrick administration review outlined a series of failings associated with Cinelli's case. Officials said all victims of Cinelli's past crimes should have known about the 2008 parole hearing and that the few law enforcement sources notified did not get a full description of Cinelli's crimes.

"Notification of Cinelli's 2008 hearing was not sent to the Middlesex County DA's office or to relevant Middlesex County municipalities," said Undersecretary of Public Safety John Grossman. "This appears to be the result of lack of attention to detail in preparing a hearing calendar."

The review was also critical of Cinelli's supervision. It said his parole officer did not regularly check up on the parolee to see if he was working and attending Alcoholics Anonymous.

The governor acknowledged that the sweeping changes cannot undo the events of Dec. 26, 2010.

"None of this can bring Jack back," Patrick said. "I know that. All of you know that. But we have done and what we must do is all we can to restore the public's confidence in a part of the parole system that is vital."

WBUR's Mark Degon, Benjamin Swasey and Steve Brown contributed to this report.

-- Here's the Patrick administration's parole review (on Scribd):


This program aired on January 13, 2011. The audio for this program is not available.


More from WBUR

Listen Live