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Deval Patrick ducks questions on Chuck Turner, hack hires

Deval Patrick ducks questions on Chuck Turner, hack hires
By Laura Crimaldi  |   Wednesday, December 1, 2010  |  http://www.bostonherald.com  |  Local Politics

Gov. Deval Patrick today refused to say where he stands on the possible expulsion of Boston City Councilor Chuck Turner while defending legislative leaders who say they support recommending job applicants despite findings of patronage in the probation system.

Patrick said he does not condone Turner’s actions, but does not have an opinion on whether he should be expelled.

“I don’t have to have an opinion on everything. That’s up to the City Council,” said Patrick, who made his comments on “Ask the Governor,” which airs on WTKK (96.9) FM with hosts Jim Braude and Herald columnist Margery Eagan.

“I’m not condoning what he did,” Patrick said.

He also said House Speaker Robert DeLeo and Senate President Therese Murray privately have expressed a sense “urgency” about reforming the scandal-plagued Probation Department.

DeLeo and Murray have come under fire recently for supporting lawmakers’ practice of recommending job applicants. Both said the final decisions on hiring are out of their hands.

Their comments came in response to an explosive report from independent counsel Paul Ware Jr. who found rampant patronage in the probation system, including an alleged pay-to-play scandal that landed campaign contributors plum jobs in the department. The report implicated several lawmakers in the patronage scandal. One of the lawmakers named in the report, state Rep. Thomas Petrolati, was recently demoted by DeLeo from his job as House Speaker Pro Tempore.

The Probation Department is currently run by the court system, which has ordered reforms.

Article URL: http://www.bostonherald.com/news/politics/view.bg?articleid=1300106

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