The episodic unraveling of the full story about John J. O’Brien’s 12-year stewardship of the state’s Probation Department continues to leave citizens in the dark as to the extent of any one individual’s culpability in the mismanagement of the agency that was cited in a 337-page report by an independent counsel for the Supreme Judicial Court last November.
Take Christopher Bulger, for example. The son of William Bulger, the former president of the state Senate and of the University of Massachusetts (and a man much admired in this office), the young Bulger was fired from his position as the Probation Department’s chief counsel in May by Ronald P. Corbett Jr., the acting commissioner who said of his decision that Bulger had “violated his professional duty” by, among other things, talking repeatedly with O’Brien about the ongoing investigation into his former boss’s tenure at the agency. The independent counsel, Paul Ware, said in his report that Bulger had told him about that communication.
So we have Ware’s report and his opinions about that report in their entirety. But we have yet to hear a word from Christopher Bulger about his role in the underlying story that the counsel has told because he and others who have been singled out by Ware in his report to the SJC face court action if they utter a syllable about the probe in their defense.
So while the counsel can find the time to talk publicly about the case, even taking a star turn on the radio with the likes of the venomous hatchet-man Howie Carr, attorney Bulger and others who have been singled out by Ware in his report to the SJC face court action if they say anything about the situation in their defense.
Ronald Corbett insists he did the right thing in dismissing Bulger, and Paul Ware publicly applauded Corbett for his decision. In turn, Bulger’s attorneys have pointed out that testimony taken by Ware from 67 witnesses and additional interviews has been impounded; they assert that Corbett hid “behind a vault” of sealed testimony in moving to oust Bulger.
Does that held-back testimony help or hinder Bulger’s case for the rehabilitation of his reputation? His attorneys seem to suggest it does, but darned if we know. He can’t look over that evidence or talk about it, and neither can we. The top court should let it all hang out, and then the public can decide for themselves about fairness and credibility and justice for all individuals caught up in this complex case.
– Ed Forry
About the liar Weiner
It is old news already, but word last week that Congressman Anthony Weiner resigned from office was overdue. There’s no need to rehash the unseemly details of this politician’s transgressions; suffice to say this man clearly has a problem. In the old days we’d call him a flasher - an exhibitionist - and decent people would rightly seek ways to protect themselves from any possible, shall we say, exposure to him and his appetites.
But as menacing as his peccadilloes were, worse were his insistent lies when first word came of his actions. The desperate calumnies – his account was hacked, he said, then he claimed the photos were of someone else – all add-up to describe a person undeserving of public trust.
The poet Walter Scott wrote, “Oh what a tangled web we weave, when first we practice to deceive.” Last month, an up and coming leader; now, just a liar.