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Chacon to Work for Deval Patrick.

Well, the Richard Chacon mystery has been solved. Media Log just finished speaking with the Globe ombudsman and 12-year veteran of the paper who's starting a new chapter in his professional career this week as communications director for Democratic gubernatorial candidate Deval Patrick.

"I'm taking a radically different path," says Chacon. "it's both exciting and scary. Scary to fly away from a nest I've been snuggly sitting in for the past 12 years." Chacon, who has never worked on a political campaign before, adds that "There's something really different about [Patrick]."

Regarding his relatively brief stint as Globe ombudsman, Chacon calls it a "really critical job. I tried to do the best I could in serving the readers. I think a lot of people wanted me to whack the Globe more frequently."

That is, of course, just one of the difficult balancing acts that comes with the job -- trying to function as an independent analyst and critic of the paper while still not alienating colleagues and bosses. It's also a reason why, in searching for a Chacon replacement, the Globe ought to follow the New York Times and Washington Post model and hire an outside contractor for a few years. It's not a panacea. But it's an improvement.

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