By Andy Metzger
STATE HOUSE NEWS SERVICE
BOSTON -- The jury in the state probation trial needs to find that Robert Mulligan, the former chief justice of administration and management, relied on the certifications former Probation Commissioner John O'Brien made about allegedly fraudulent hires in order for him to be guilty of mail fraud, Judge William Young advised the jury Tuesday.
For two hours, Young noted the jury's unique role as decider of the facts while also giving strictures on how to deliver verdicts for O'Brien and his two former deputies, Elizabeth Tavares and William Burke III, who are facing various charges related to alleged rigged hiring in the department.
"Now the government made these particular charges here, and the government has to prove it beyond a reasonable doubt," Young boomed from the bench.
The three defendants are facing eight charges of mail fraud. If O'Brien is not guilty, neither Tavares nor Burke can be found guilty, Young said.
O'Brien and Tavares are additionally facing the charge of racketeering, that they allegedly were members of an enterprise and committed a pattern of crimes in the furtherance of that enterprise. The jury needs to find that to be true beyond a reasonable doubt, and then they can go through the various racketeering acts. At least two of the racketeering acts need to be proven for a defendant to be found guilty.
Various mail fraud charges make up the racketeering acts O'Brien and Tavares allegedly committed. In addition, O'Brien is accused of bribery racketeering acts, from his alleged conspiracy with Rep. Robert DeLeo - who has not been charged - to give job opportunities to members of the House to pass out to supporters so as to shore up DeLeo's support in his ultimately successful bid for speaker.
If the jurors don't believe that alleged activity was bribery, prosecutors have a "fallback" charge of gratuity. All three defendants are charged with conspiracy to commit racketeering.
Prosecutors by early afternoon had delivered their closing statements in the weeks-long trial.