DeLeo Bill Would Revamp Mass. Probation Department

By The Associated Press

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Apr. 21, 2011

BOSTON — The Massachusetts Probation Department would remain under the jurisdiction of the courts, but a new civilian administrator would help run the agency under a bill being unveiled by House Speaker Robert DeLeo.

The legislation, backed by Massachusetts Supreme Judicial Court Chief Justice Roderick Ireland, would also require jobseekers in the courts and across state government to pass a written test.

All letters of recommendation, including those from lawmakers, would be made public if the individual is hired. The bill also requires recommendations be made in writing, but carries no sanctions for violators.

DeLeo's bill rejects Gov. Deval Patrick's proposal to merge the Probation Department with the Massachusetts Parole Board and bring both under the control of the executive branch.

The department is the target of investigations looking into patronage allegations.

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