By Andy Metzger
STATE HOUSE NEWS SERVICE
BOSTON -- Arguing against an order they say will unfairly hamper their case against three former probation officials, prosecutors say they plan to call Rep. John Rogers, who vied in 2008 with Speaker Robert DeLeo for leadership of the House, and DeLeo's godson, Brian Mirasolo, who was allegedly protected and promoted as part of a patronage scheme.
Whether the prosecutors are granted the additional time they say they need to call a range of witnesses will depend on Judge William Young, who set time limits in connection with his forecast for the trial's end date to July 18.
"The government respectfully requests that the Court reconsider this ruling and allow the government to present the evidence it has determined is needed to carry its heavy burden of proving the case to the jury beyond a reasonable doubt," prosecutor Robert Fisher wrote in a motion last week.
Young said Monday that parties in the case should continue operating under the restrictions designed to help complete the trial by July 18, but said he would hold a hearing Wednesday on Fisher's motion to reconsider those restrictions.
Former Probation Commissioner John O'Brien and two of his former deputies, Elizabeth Tavares and William Burke III, are accused of systematically rigging the hiring system to give jobs to candidates with political backing in exchange for "political currency," but not cash.
Mark McHale, a regional administrator, will testify that Mirasolo was a preferred candidate and a "mediocre" line probation officer, who "never" should have received two promotions, according to Fisher. He said McHale heard former probation official Fran Wall, now a key prosecution witness, told him to "lay off" irasolo.
Rogers, a Norwood Democrat, conceded to DeLeo after a speakership contest came to a head following Salvatore DiMasi's January 2009 resignation. According to Fisher, Rogers will testify "specifically" about his unsuccessful tries for speaker against DiMasi and DeLeo, which he said will buttress the charges of conspiracy and racketeering.
Ed Ryan, who was the legislative liaison for the probation department and still works overseeing the electronic monitoring of offenders, will testify that he gave DeLeo "the opportunity to fill" electronic monitoring positions and also alerted Senate President Therese Murray, Sen. Marc Pacheco and other lawmakers about the openings.
Ryan began his testimony Friday. DeLeo has said the prosecution's allegation of jobs-for-votes in his fight with Rogers for the speaker's chair "never happened."
Fisher left off the list of witnesses the prosecution "must" call a few lawmakers who prosecutor Fred Wyshak previously said were intended to be witnesses for the prosecution. Majority Whip Byron Rushing, of Boston; Housing Chairman Kevin Honan, of Boston; Post-Audit and Oversight Chairman David Linsky, of Natick; Rep. Michael Moran, a division leader from Boston, and former Rep. Vincent Pedone, of Worcester, are not on Fisher's list.
Former Chief Justice of Administration and Management Robert Mulligan, former House Ways and Means Chairman Charley Murphy and aides to DeLeo are on Fisher's list.