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Mass. Gov. Deval Patrick Refuses to Release Tsarnaev Brothers' Welfare Information

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Massachusetts Governor Devel Patrick has refused to release confidential information about what sort financial aid, welfare, and unemployment the Tsarnaev brothers were getting, arguing that it is not within the law to do so, despite his own curiosity. Patrick said protecting terrorists' private rights was irrelevant.

The most important thing, Patrick said, is rebuilding the community and securing justice.

The Boston Herald reported on Tuesday that the family received taxpayer funded welfare during brief periods in the brothers’ childhood and during Tamerlan Tsarnaev’s marriage, which was later confirmed by state spokesperson Alec Loftus.

It is unclear what kind of aid and how much they received.

“It’s obviously concerning that people who have done this kind of damage to us all would have been on the public dole,” said Patrick.

The Department of Transitional Assistance is currently gathering information to assure that the dispersion of state welfare was lawful.

Spokesperson Robert Connolly also dismissed questions of Dzhokhar Tsarnaev’s aid at UMass Dartmouth: “It is our position — and I believe the accepted position in higher education — that student records including academic records and financial records (including financial aid) cannot under federal law be released without a student’s consent,” Connolly said.

The taxpayer funding continues, though, as Dzokhar’s medical bills and lawyers are both covered by the state.

Sources: CBS News, Boston Herald


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