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Five members of parole board resign in wake of cop killing

Five members of parole board resign in wake of cop killing
By Hillary Chabot  |   Thursday, January 13, 2011  |  http://www.bostonherald.com  |  Local Politics

Five members of the state parole board, including chairman Mark Conrad, above, resigned today in a massive shakeup of the agency following the 2008 release of Dominic Cinelli who police say gunned down Woburn officer John ‘Jack’ Maguire.
Photo by Matt Stone

Gov. Deval Patrick outlined today a massive Parole Board upheaval — including five resignations and three suspensions — following the release of a career criminal who police said gunned down a veteran Woburn cop the day after Christmas.

The governor said the shakeup is meant to regain the public’s trust.

“The public had lost confidence in parole and I had lost confidence in parole,” said Patrick, who faced outcry following the Dec. 26 slaying of Woburn police officer John “Jack” Maguire. “As I said to Mrs. Maguire when we spoke on the phone just a moment ago, none of this is going to bring Jack back … but what we have done and what we must do is all we can to regain the public’s confidence in a part of the criminal justice system which is vital to a successful criminal justice program.”

The five Parole Board members who voted to release repeat violent offender Dominic Cinelli in 2008 — including Patrick’s former campaign volunteer and pick for Parole Board Chairman Mark Conrad — handed in their resignations last night.

No violent or high-risk offenders will be released until the full Parole Board is rehired, Patrick said.

Donald Giancioppo, the former Parole Board executive director, also resigned following the results of an investigation into Cinelli’s release by the Executive Office of Public Safety.

He also moved to fire three other employees who were charged with overseeing Cinelli’s release. They are currently on suspension pending termination proceedings, Patrick said.

Patrick — who had asked for the public’s patience during the review — said his harsh actions were necessary to restore the public’s trust in their own public safety.

The governor said he’d file legislation tomorrow that would slap offenders convicted of a third violent felony with the maximum sentence.

“I applaud the governor for the steps he took … I think he did the right thing,” said state Rep. James Dwyer (D-Woburn). “I thought they should have resigned right away.”

“Ultimately, it is Cinelli and Cinelli alone who is responsible for the murder of officer Maguire,” Patrick added today.

Patrick also named Josh Wall, now the first assistant district attorney in Suffolk County, the board’s interim executive director. Wall is expected to be named chairman.

Patrick had ordered a review of the Parole Board following Maguire’s death, and the review detailed “several failings” before and after Cinelli was released, said Public Safety Undersecretary John Grossman.

Parole board employees failed to notify the Middlesex District Attorney or all of his victims before Cinelli’s 2008 hearing. They also didn’t conduct monthly interviews with Cinelli’s friends or family members in the months leading up to Cinelli’s Dec. 26 heist to ensure his parole was going smoothly.

Article URL: http://www.bostonherald.com/news/politics/view.bg?articleid=1309288

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