By Alan Burke
---- — PEABODY — A Peabody man has been named to head the state’s troubled Probation Department.
Edward J. Dolan was tapped by Robert Mulligan, chief justice of the Trial Court, and Court Administrator Harry Spence to begin a five-year term starting June 10, according to a press release from the Supreme Judicial Court.
Dolan had been the commissioner of the Massachusetts Department of Youth Services, and he previously served four years as executive director of the state Parole Board. Dolan was appointed to lead the Department of Youth Services last May, after 14 years as the deputy.
The former commissioner, John J. O’Brien, was driven from office in the midst of a patronage scandal. He was acquitted of conspiracy in a state trial and has since pleaded not guilty to bribery charges in a federal case.
The court officials lauded their new man, Dolan, as a respected “criminal justice professional” with the “vision, problem solving and organizational development skills” needed for the “restoration of professionalism” in the Probation Department.
He will be responsible for a staff of 1,800 and 100 offices across the state.
Dolan has a master’s degree in public administration from Syracuse University and a bachelor’s in government from the University of Massachusetts Amherst. Further, the court officials cite his public speaking on criminal justice at events nationwide.