FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE:
July 25, 2014
617-523-5005 ext. 245
BOSTON – Democrats ran away from media yesterday after the guilty verdict came down in the Probation Department trial, apparently afraid to utter something that could be used against them in a court of law. Even the Chariman of MassDems who normally takes every opportunity to throw stones at Republicans shrank from the bright lights of local TV.
“The dodging of answering questions from the media by Democratic lawmakers just goes to show that the Democrats clearly want to stay as far away from this issue that they possibly can,” said Kirsten Hughes MassGOP chairman. “The reality remains that many Democratic lawmakers, allegedly, are involved and since Attorney General Martha Coakley refuses to take action against the unindicted co-conspirators, then it is up to the voters to end the corruption on Beacon Hill by electing new leaders.”
The Boston Herald’s Erin Smith: “State lawmakers ducked and dodged questions about yesterday’s guilty verdict in the Probation patronage trial — with some even scampering away down the halls of the State House or skulking out back exits.”
“Many lawmakers who made the probation job recommendations wouldn’t comment yesterday.
“State Sen. Thomas McGee (D-Lynn) hustled away down the hallway, telling reporters he couldn’t comment because, ‘I’ve been in (Senate) session all day.’
“State Rep. Michael Moran (D-Brighton) declined comment, while state Reps. David Linsky (D-Natick), Kevin Honan (D-Brighton) and Harold Naughton Jr. (D-Clinton) didn’t return calls yesterday.”
The Boston Globe’s Mike Levenson: “One had his phone pressed to his ear. Another ran up a staircase, saying he had to go a meeting. A third just smiled and waved as he raced into a colleague’s office.
“After a federal jury found Thursday that officials in the state Probation Department had hired politically connected candidates to curry favor with legislators, it was hard to find anyone on Beacon Hill who was willing to speak out. Outside the Senate chamber, senators insisted they had to be somewhere else, had not read the verdict, or were busy with other business.
“The silence illustrated the pall the trial has cast over the State House — which has long operated in a culture of patronage and loyalty — and reignited the central question of how much will change in the way business is done on Beacon Hill.”
(Mike Levenson, “Outcome brings few words from lawmakers”, The Boston Globe, July 24, 2014)
WGBH’S Sarah Birnbaum: “Democrats ducked comment one by one as they came out of the chamber.” (Sarah Birnbaum, “State House Democrats Silent On Probation Conviction,” WGBH, 7/24/13)
The Boston Herald’s Hillary Chabot: “House Speaker Robert A. DeLeo — the fourth Beacon Hill speaker to be ensnared in a corruption case — is in a fight for his political life after a jury found a former Probation commissioner guilty yesterday of fixing hires in a case that heavily name-checked DeLeo.”
(Hillary Chabot, “Case stains State House, DeLeo’s reputation,” The Boston Herald, July 25, 2014).