DeLeo Can't Wait to Pump Cesspool He Calls Home

Having a centralized corruption department isn't turning out so well up at the Massachusetts state house. Last week, this reality hadn't fully impacted on people like Speaker Bob DeLeo, but maybe they're starting to see it our way.

“We will act to restore the public’s faith in the Probation Department with the same urgency we reformed a decades old and broken transportation system, the same way we enacted the most sweeping changes to our ethics and campaign finance laws of our era, and the same way we eliminated entrenched abuses in the state pension system,’’ DeLeo said.

What Speaker DeLeo really seems to be saying, if you read between the lines, is "only at gunpoint will we reform our beloved Patronage Probation Department."

In private testimony, DeLeo claimed the only reason he's in public life is to get people jobs.

According to Ware’s report, DeLeo was not unfamiliar with probation’s patronage tradition.

Ware documented at least seven cases in which DeLeo helped candidates win jobs or promotions at the agency. One of them was the speaker’s godson, Brian Mirasolo, who at 28 is one of the youngest chief probation officers in the state.

A spokesman for DeLeo confirmed earlier this week that DeLeo wrote a letter of recommendation for Mirasolo because the speaker believed he was highly qualified for the job. That sponsorship may have violated the state’s conflict-of-interest law.

DeLeo came late to the reform table, but hey, so what - now he's ready to eat!

While DeLeo is now vowing to overhaul the agency, in private testimony before Ware on Nov. 1, the speaker spoke with decidedly less urgency about the hiring patterns for probation officers.

“I look at it as my role as a legislator to be of any assistance that I can with my constituency, whether it’s a recommendation to — for a job, whatever it’s to give whatever assistance I have because they’re down and out with housing or they’re trying to go through a state agency to get some help,’’ DeLeo testified.

“That’s my job as a legislator. I mean, it’s to recommend people.’’

No wonder they cling to those jobs with such desperation.