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Judge refuses sentencing delay in probation case

October 29, 2014

BOSTON (AP) — A federal judge has denied a defense motion seeking a 30-day delay in sentencing for ex-Massachusetts probation Commissioner John O’Brien and two of his former deputies.

U.S. District Court Judge William Young issued the ruling without comment on Wednesday, one day after lawyers for O’Brien, Elizabeth Tavares and William Burke asked that sentencing be postponed from Nov. 12 to Dec. 10.

O’Brien, Tavares and Burke were convicted in July on charges stemming from what prosecutors said was a scheme to rig the Probation Department’s hiring process to favor politically-connected candidates over more qualified applicants.

Defense attorneys argued that they needed more time to prepare for the sentencing hearing. They indicated that state judges and other officials had expressed interest in offering comments in support of the three defendants.

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