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Massachusetts Probation Trial Final Arguments Scheduled

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The federal trial of former state probation Commissioner John O’Brien and two deputies could be heading to the jury soon.

The prosecution rested its case Friday and the defense opted not to call any witnesses, including O’Brien.

Close arguments are expected to begin Tuesday.

O’Brien and two deputies, Elizabeth Tavares and William Burke, are accused of funneling jobs to politically connected applicants at the expense of more qualified candidates. They pleaded not guilty to charges including mail fraud and bribery.

The trial has lasted more than two months and focused attention on the patronage culture on Beacon Hill.

Although no lawmakers were charged, they have figured into the prosecution’s case.

House Speaker Robert DeLeo this week strongly denied assertions by prosecutors that he traded jobs for votes or deliberately spared the agency from budget cuts.

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