Two former state probation officials are suing a former judge who testified against them in their public corruption trial, saying they were singled out for practicing patronage hiring that was common across state government.
In a federal lawsuit filed in June, O'Brien and Tavares say their removal was sparked by Judge Robert Mulligan's dislike for O'Brien, not the patronage exposed by a 2010 Boston Globe Spotlight team article. Mulligan was at the time chief of the trial courts.
"No other employee in the history of the Commonwealth of Massachusetts has been subjected to the treatment that [Mulligan] initiated against the Plaintiffs for hiring practices within a state agency," the suit said.
Mulligan, the suit continued, "targeted Mr. O’Brien and his deputies despite knowing that virtually all state employees and state agencies, including the Defendant, Judge Mulligan, were similarly situated as the Plaintiffs, all conducting patronage hiring for politicians and other state officials, but none were disciplined."
Mulligan retired from the bench in 2013. No attorney was listed for him in the federal court docket.