Former probation official William Burke asks for court-appointed lawyer to handle appeals

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The Republican on September 5, 2014 by Shira Schoenberg

Former Probation Department deputy commissioner William Burke has gone into debt to pay the legal bills related to his trial for helping to run a rigged hiring scheme at the Massachusetts Probation Department, according to a court filing by his attorney, John Amabile. He is now asking for a court-appointed attorney.

Burke was convicted in July of racketeering conspiracy for his role in a scheme in which top probation officials hired job candidates based on political connections, not merit, in order to get better budgets and legislative favors for the Probation Department, then lied on forms certifying the hires were done correctly.