Guess who helped James Rush get the Chief Probation Officer job?
Would James Rush have gotten the promotion without the recommend from his son, state legislator Mike Rush? I wonder how the other applicants feel about whether they had an equal opportunity for the position.
Does it seem strange that as an employee of the probation department, his own son's recommendation might have had more weight than his own history of job performance in the probation department?
Did Mike Rush receive campaign donations from the probation department in a quid pro quo arrangement as described in the Ware Report?
And then there's these bits of history:
Then-speaker of the Massachusetts House Thomas M. Finneran recommended Rush for the chief’s job at the request of his son, Michael F. Rush, a state representative.
... a lawsuit filed by two women accusing James J. Rush, former chief probation officer in West Roxbury District Court, of discrimination on the basis of race and sex.
Excerpts from the deposition of the Hon. Kathleen Elizabeth Coffey
Q. You brought up the issue of Representative Rush this morning, and you talked about his overriding presence at West Roxbury. I was wondering if you could explain what you mean by that.
A. Mr. Rush is on the House Ways and Means Committee. Right now the trial court, and in particular the probation department, faces the real threat of budget cuts. There's been talk of furloughs within the trial court, of layoffs, and there is a fear and concern among employees that they run the risk of losing their jobs if the legislature doesn't fund the trial court budget and in particular the probation department.
The probation department has a separate line item than the trial court, and Jack O'Brien has exclusive control over that line item. It's not transferable to Chief Justice Mulligan.
Accordingly, it's my understanding that a lot of employees believe that loyalty and allegiance to the legislature, and in particular to Mr. Rush, ensures job safety and protection.
Excerpts from the deposition of Michael Francis Rush
Q. [Attorney reads Rush excerpts from Coffey's deposition] ..."It was a tense, and continues to be a tense, situation for a variety of reasons. One of them, of course, is this lawsuit, and the other is the overriding presence of Representative Mike Rush and his perceived influence within the probation department." Do you see that?
A. Yeah. That's a lie. source
Despite Mike's clarity, I would think it'd be a stretch to deny influence when a person recommended James Rush for a position which he got, and subsequently exerted direct control over parts of the state budget related to courts. Would this constitute perjury, lying under oath during a deposition?
I would say its time to investigate.
Oh, and its time to end the practice of having elected officials involved in the hiring practices of any agency, except their own personal staff... and that should go for city government too.