John O’BrienSun staff photos can be ordered by visiting our SmugMug site.
John O'Brien

Sun staff photos can be ordered by visiting our SmugMug site.

BOSTON (AP) -- A jury has been chosen to hear the federal trial of three former Massachusetts probation officials charged with rigging the department's hiring process to favor politically-connected job seekers.

The 16-member panel -- including four alternate jurors -- was seated on Wednesday after three days of jury selection in U.S. District Court. There are nine women and seven men on the panel.

Former probation commissioner John O'Brien and deputies Elizabeth Tavares and William Burke have pleaded not guilty to charges including racketeering and mail fraud. Prosecutors say they schemed to hire candidates who were recommended by powerful state legislators and other officials, often bypassing more qualified candidates.

Opening statements are expected to be made on Thursday.

Judge William Young told the jurors to expect a lengthy trial.


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