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Shake-Up Of Mass. Probation Dept. Ordered

BOSTON (CBS/AP) - Massachusetts highest court ordered a massive shake-up of the state's probation department after an independent review revealed what the justices described as a system of "abuse and corruption" in hiring practices.

WBZ-TV Karen Anderson reports from Boston. 

Gov. Deval Patrick said a report alleging "abuse and corruption" at the Massachusetts Probation Department bolsters his argument that the agency should be combined with the parole board and brought under the control of the governor's office.

Gov. Deval Patrick talked about the probation probe Thursday afternoon.

WBZ Political Analyst Jon Keller reports from the State House. 

An independent review of the department ordered by the Supreme Judicial Court portrayed a vast patronage system where individuals recommended by lawmakers were given jobs and the department's budget continued to grow.


Political roundtable discussion on the Probation Dept. Report.

Patrick said he'd known for some time that the Probation Department was a "rogue agency" and that if it had been under executive branch control it would have received more scrutiny.

During the past three fiscal years, Patrick has vetoed more than $18 million from the Probation Department.  The Legislature restored $7 million of those vetoes.

Read: Full Report Of Independent Counsel
Read: Full Story On Probation Investigation

During an interview with WBZ News Radio on Friday, Mass. Attorney General Martha Coakley talked about the possibility of criminal charges being filed in the wake of the Probation Department report.


WBZ News Radio's Jon MacLean talks with AG Martha Coakley

(TM and © Copyright 2010 CBS Radio Inc. and its relevant subsidiaries. CBS RADIO and EYE Logo TM and Copyright 2010 CBS Broadcasting Inc. Used under license. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed. The Associated Press contributed to this report.)

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