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Peabody's Dolan Named Probation Commissioner

Edward Dolan has been appointed to become the next commissioner of the Mass. Probation Service and Office of Community Corrections.

Peabody resident Edward Dolan has been named to head up the scandal-plagued state probation department.

Chief Justice Robert Mulligan and Court Administrator Harry Spence announced Thursday they selected Dolan, 59, to serve as the next Commissioner of Probation for Massachusetts.

His five-year term will begin June 10 to head up the Mass. Probation Service and the Office of Community Corrections with 1,800 staff in more than 100 locations across the state.

Dolan has been serving as the Commissioner of the Mass. Department of Youth Services, a position to which he was appointed last year after working within the department since 1997. He also previously spent four years as the Executive Director of the state Parole Board.

Dolan permanently fills the vacancy left by John O'Brien, who was forced to resign in 2010 amid allegations of widespread political patronage. O'Brien was acquitted of conspiracy charges in a state trial, but is facing 17 counts of bribery in a federal case where he is accused of handing out jobs in exchange for political favors.

“We are pleased to appoint a respected criminal justice professional of Ed Dolan’s caliber to head the Massachusetts Probation Service,” said Mulligan and Spence in a statement.

“He has proven his leadership capability at several organizations during times of significant challenge and opportunity. He has the vision, problem solving and organizational development skills, as well as the knowledge of the court system and criminal justice issues in Massachusetts, to accelerate the restoration of professionalism to the Probation Service,” they said.

Dolan first joined DYS as the Director of Classification in 1997 and was named Deputy Commissioner in 1998. He was the Chief Operating Officer at Mass. Half Way Houses, Inc. prior to that and a forensic manager for the Mass. Department of Mental Health.

He joined the Parole Board in 1985 as the Director of Research, Planning and Systems Development, and was appointed Executive Director from 1990-1994. He also worked as a court planner from 1979-1985 on the staff of Trial Court Judge Arthur Mason.

Dolan has a master’s degree in public administration from Syracuse University and a bachelor’s degree in government from UMass Amherst. He also does work as a consultant.

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