MA ‘King Of Patronage’ Eyed In Probation Dept. Hiring Probe


The Boston Globe profiles Massachusetts State Rep. Thomas M. Petrolati, the “king of patronage” who is being scrutinized by Paul Ware Jr., the special counsel investigating rigged hiring practices at the state Probation Department. Petrolati, a top deputy to the last three speakers of the House, has emerged as a major figure of interest in Ware's investigation, marking the third time in four years that Petrolati's conduct has been under scrutiny by state or federal investigators.

Petrolati has more influence than any other politician over the Probation Department, where his wife and more than 100 financial backers now work, and where his contributors run 19 of the 25 probation offices between Worcester and the New York border. Meanwhile, federal agents from both the FBI and the Internal Revenue Service have been asking questions about Petrolati's ties to a real estate developer and whether he received any financial benefit for helping supporters obtain state jobs, sources say.

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