The Supreme Judicial Court today overruled Secretary of State Bill Galvin's refusal to let disgraced Speaker Sal DiMasi try his hand at lobbying, saying the state law that lets Galvin bar certain reprobates from the job applies only to people convicted of specifically state crimes and DiMasi was convicted just under federal laws against conspiracy, mail fraud, wire fraud and extortion. Read more.
Convicted House speaker can serve as a State House lobbyist because he was convicted of federal crimes, not state ones, court rules
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Sal DiMasi talked to reporters after getting off a plane at Logan Aiport this afternoon, following his early release from federal prison. Emily Rooney, who took the photo, was among the large group of reporters waiting for his arrival.
US District Court Judge Mark Wolf today ordered convicted Massachusetts House Speaker Sal DiMasi released on Nov. 22, after federal officials urged the move due to his declining health. DiMasi had been scheduled to serve another two years of his corruption sentence.
Judge's order (3.7M PDF).
A federal judge today rejected a request by the government to release former House Speaker Sal DiMasi from prison, but gave its lawyers until Oct. 27 to prove why compassion requires he should be released, rather than the fact he still has powerful friends. Read more.
The Globe reports.
Sal DiMasi found guilty, appeal planned, of course.
The Globe's Milton Valencia tweets this morning:
Waiting on DiMasi[trial] today ... Juror late because train from Brockton reportedly canceled/delayed.
He's a lawyer involved in the DiMasi case, but after reading Globe and Herald accounts, John Carroll can't figure out which DiMasi pal he's representing.
WBUR reports on the first day of the former Mistah Speakah's federal corruption trial.
Better head for the basement: Explosive DiMasi trial could leave Boston reeling, roiling with dynamite disclosures
Or something. WBUR explains the former Speakah's federal corruption trial, for which jury selection is set to begin today.
John Carroll explains why a Supreme Court decision on "honest services fraud" isn't going to help the ex-Speaker.
The Outraged Liberal sums up the latest on the state-funded lawyer for the former state employee.
David Bernstein asks:
Do you think the state house of representatives sits around and brainstorms ways to further lose the public's trust and confidence, or do you think it just comes to them naturally?
Including extortion, the Globe reports.
The Outraged Liberal reviews the political machinations, cautions Republicans they have little to be proud of, given the record of a generation's worth of GOP governors.
Jay Fitzgerald points to "50-plus years of one-party rule on Beacon Hill" and writes that any Democratic governor who would appoint James Aloisi to any position of authority is complicit.
Dan Dunn, who lives in Arlington, is not at all happy with his state rep, Jay Kaufman, because Kaufman didn't just vote to make Sal DiMasi house speaker, he did so with relish - and then defended him when the Globe first started asking questions about Cognos:
... End of questions about his integrity, Jay? Really? A grand jury still has some questions. So do I. And they're questions about you.
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.
Because our alleged leaders are displaying a notable lack of brains, from Deval Patrick finding a good hack job for Marian Walsh to, well, Marian Walsh accepting a good hack job, as the state sinks deeper into debt, the Outraged Liberal fulminates.
Outraged Liberal: In the end, Sal DiMasi is doing the right thing ...
... But he is being less than honest in blaming his downfall on "powerful special interests" in the casino industry. ...
The Outraged Liberal compares the coverage of Sal DiMasi's possible imminent departure and the news that Gov. Patrick is cutting $128 million from local aid - which helps pay for police, firefighters and road repair:
... Welcome to a journalism feeding frenzy -- created by a local press corps that doesn't routinely cover the daily ins and outs of a $26-plus billion industry, prefers gossip and rumor over facts and wouldn't know context if it hit them in the face. ...
He does give props to the Globe for putting the local-aid story on the front page.
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