SUPREME JUDICIAL COURT APPOINTS TASK FORCE MEMBERS TO
REVIEW HIRING AND PROMOTION PRACTICES IN JUDICIAL BRANCH
The Justices of the Supreme Judicial Court today announced the appointment of the members of the Task Force established to undertake a comprehensive review of the hiring and promotion procedures in the Judicial Branch in the wake of the findings of corruption and systemic abuse in the hiring and promotion practices of the Probation Department documented in the report of Independent Counsel Paul Ware. In a statement on November 18, 2010, which accompanied the public release of the Independent Counsel's report, the Justices announced that they appointed former Attorney General Scott Harshbarger, Senior Counsel in the law firm of Proskauer to lead the Task Force. The Justices stated that the Task Force will "make recommendations designed to ensure a fair system with transparent procedures in which the qualifications of an applicant are the sole criterion in hiring and promotion."
To enhance public confidence in the integrity of the court system, the Task Force is charged with reviewing the hiring and promotion policies, practices, and procedures of the Probation Department and other court departments within the Judicial Branch. In its initial phase, the Task Force will assess the current system within the Probation Department and make recommendations to the Justices, the Chief Justice for Administration and Management, and the Acting Commissioner of Probation. Thereafter, the Task Force will focus on a comprehensive review of all aspects of hiring and promotion, consistent with the mission and functions of the various court departments. It is expected that the interim report will be received by the Court within ninety days, and a more comprehensive report within six months. The Justices said that both reports will be made public.
Attorney Harshbarger will serve as the chair of the Task Force. The initial members of the Task Force are as follows, although additional members may be named at a later time.
Stephen P. Crosby is the founding and current Dean of the John W. McCormack Graduate School of Policy and Global Studies at UMass/Boston.
Kathleen M. Donovan is Managing Director of Manpower Business Solutions and also directs Manpower's Global RPO Center of Excellence to promote innovation and sharing of best practices in recruitment process outsourcing.
Ruth Ellen Fitch is the President of the Dimock Community Health Center and a current member of the Court Management Advisory Board.
Michael B. Keating is a partner and chair of the Litigation Department at Foley Hoag LLP, and he served as chair of the Court Management Advisory Board from 2004 to 2010.
William J. Leahy is the former Chief Counsel for the Committee for Public Counsel Services.
Hon. James F. McHugh is an Associate Justice of the Massachusetts Appeals Court since 2001 and formerly a Superior Court Justice.
Susan M. Prosnitz is the Executive Director of the Rappaport Center for Law and Public Service at Suffolk University Law School.
Harry Spence, a lecturer at Harvard Kennedy School, was formerly the Commissioner of the Massachusetts Department of Social Services, and is a current member of the Court Management Advisory Board.
Steven H. Wright is the Executive Partner for the Boston office of Holland and Knight LLP.