DiMasi indicted in federal court

UPDATE: Emerging from federal court just in time for the 5:30 news, DiMasi said everything he has ever done has always been "in the best interests" of his constituents and the Commonwealth. His lawyer, Thomas Kiley, said "citizen legislators" do not earn enough to support a family: "He has earned a living, and for that he is charged today." Kiley then declined to answer questions: "It isn't about the press, it isn't about the voters. We will present our case in the courtroom and (at the end) you all will agree with me, as will the jury ... that Mr. DiMasi has never violated the public trust."

The Globe has the details on the charges against former Speaker Sal DiMasi related to $20 million in contracts with software vendor Cognos (now part of IBM).

Also indicted: DiMasi pal and un-lobbyist Richard Vitale, DiMasi pal and Cognos lobbyist Richard McDonough and Cognos sales agent Joseph Lally.

Read the indictment (PDF file), which says DiMasi received payments of $5,000 a month for his services.

Innocent, etc.

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    DiMasi Indicted

    Over the fifty years from January 1959 to January 2009, nine men serving in the Massachusetts House of Representatives were elevated by their peers to Speaker of the House. Of those nine politicians—every one a Democrat—four, John F. Thompson (Speaker, 1958-1964), Charles Flaherty (1991-1996), Thomas Finneran (1996-2004), and Salvatore DiMasi (2004-2009) resigned the speakership in disgrace, dogged by charges of legal or ethical lapses. One Speaker, Thomas W. McGee (1975–1984), was found so wanting even by the low standards of his fellow Democratic legislators that he was dumped from that leadership position in favor of George Keverian (1985–1991). Keverian left the post, and state politics, in 1991, after losing the Democratic party primary for Treasurer of the Commonwealth.

    In the fifty years prior to that, 14 men served as Speaker, 12 Republicans and two Democrats. None, as far as I know, left office in disgrace or disfavor. About half went on, after their speakerships, to run successfully for higher office in state or national government. Among them Republican Christian Herter (Speaker 1939-1942) was later elected U.S. Representative and Massachusetts Governor and served in high positions in the Republican Administration of President Eisenhower and under Democratic Presidents Kennedy and Johnson. Thomas Phillip "Tip" O'Neill, Jr. (1949-1952) went on, after his leadership in the State House, to serve ten years as Speaker of the U.S. House of Representatives.

    Its all about competition,

    Its all about competition, we really need a strong second party in the state, there is nobody capable of staring these guys down until an actual idictment comes out. I find it hard to believe that nobody knew for sure what was happening here,funny thing about rumors, they tend to have some truth to them.