Fmr. Probation Chief John O’Brien Guilty of Racketeering, Conspiracy

John O’Brien, the former head of the Massachusetts Probation Department, was found guilty of four charges of mail fraud, one charge of racketeering, and one charge of conspiracy to engage in racketeering. He was found not guilty of four charges of mail fraud.

His deputy Elizabeth Tavares was also found guilty of mail fraud and racketeering. A third deputy in the department, William Burke III, was found not guilty of those charges.

All three were found guilty of conspiracy to engage in racketeering.

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O’Brien was accused of running his department like a criminal enterprise, trading favors with legislators in order to gain political clout.

The reading of the verdict was briefly interrupted when his wifecollapsed in the courtroom. She was taken to the hospital shortly after.

Jurors took 52 hours over seven days to deliberate on the case.

Each of the charges carries a maximum penalty of 20 years in prison. Sentencing is set for November 18.

For more information about the case, The Boston Globe provides a helpful primer.

This story will be updated as more information becomes available.