Last week, the United States Attorney alleged that I engaged in a criminal conspiracy. Since a conspiracy is an agreement to do an illegal act, the question must be asked: With whom did I conspire? When did I so conspire? And what evidence is there linking me to such a conspiracy? The government cannot answer these most basic questions. This allegation is nothing more than desperate legal strategy to allow the government to admit hearsay evidence from an unreliable source.
The United States Attorney has never asked me to testify and thereby has not provided me with a forum to defend myself. If the United States Attorney had any evidence of wrongdoing on my behalf, I would have been a defendant. There is no such evidence. In fact I testified before the independent counsel, Mr. Ware, under oath and without immunity, and Mr. Ware concluded that I had not engaged in any impropriety.
Moreover, The Boston Globe editorial of Saturday, July 12, 2014 unfairly criticized me for responding to allegations in a filing by federal prosecutors during the probation trial. The editorial failed to recognize my stern criticism of the department after the report of the Supreme Judicial Court concluded that the process of selection had been improperly manipulated. I took immediate action to cause legislation to be passed which reforms the system and makes it transparent. Specifically, the law I wrote along with Supreme Judicial Court Chief Justice Ireland with the input from the Harshbarger Commission and Father Monan of Boston College, completely changed the way hiring was done in the Trial Court.
Now recommendations can only come into play in the last round of hiring. If a person is hired, their recommendation letters become public record. We also created the position of court administrator and required all court employees to take a minimum skills test before proceeding in the hiring process. Unfortunately, both former Chief Justice Mulligan and Court Administrator Spence have ignored these critical reforms and have hired or promoted well over 200 court and probation officers in violation of state of law.
If the Globe followed the evidence in the case it would have noted that no witness has testified that jobs were swapped for votes or that the probation budget was increased to make jobs available to legislators. Indeed, former Representative, Charles Murphy, who testified that he was instructed not to cut the probation budget the 10% that he had recommended, had to acknowledge the irrefutable evidence that I cut that budget in excess of the 10% he recommended—14.2% to be exact.
Finally, the Globe criticized the practice of recommending qualified people for jobs as probation officers. Yet it failed to mention that the Governor, Lieutenant Governor, Attorney General, United States Senators, Congressmen and Judges all made similar recommendations. Does that make the candidates unqualified or lacking in professional skill?
Nowhere in the Constitution does it say that the United State Senators or Congressmen from the District shall recommend the candidate for the office of United States Attorney. But that is, and has been, the longstanding practice, even though it is the job of the United States Attorney to investigate political corruption.
Nowhere in the Constitution does it say an Ambassador shall be considered for appointment based on their political contributions, fundraising, or other support for the President. But that is the practice. Many other examples could be given, as the Globe well knows.
I believe my indignation has been well-placed and to remain silent, in the face of false accusations, would damage the office of the Speaker and the entire Legislature.
The United States Attorney has chosen to try me in the press because they lack the evidence to do so in a court of law. That is simply unconscionable and unfair.
Robert DeLeo is the current Speaker of the House of Representatives