Sal DiMasi found guilty of corruption

(NECN: Alysha Palumbo – Boston) – “I think it’s almost certain that Sal DiMasi will be going to jail,” said former Assistant U.S. Attorney Brad Bailey.

Massachusetts House Speaker Salvatore DiMasi – guilty on seven of nine counts in his corruption trial.

Bailey says he believes Judge Mark Wolf could sentence DiMasi to five-ten years in prison.

“A series of factors he’s required to look at are comparable sentences given to comparably situated defendants – i.e. Dianne Wilkerson and Chuck Turner,” said Bailey.

But DiMasi remained defiant until the end.

He said, “This is an intent crime and I knew I did not have the requisite intent to commit this crime.”

He told reporters gathered outside the federal courthouse that he doesn’t have second thoughts about being the type of legislator he was on Beacon Hill.

“I was a legislator who did the best I could, I made a lot of good decisions and I helped a lot of people,” said DiMasi.

But DiMasi now faces up to 25 years in prison after a six week trial in which a federal jury found him guilty of conspiracy, mail and wire fraud, and extortion – in a scheme to steer $17.5 million dollars in state contracts to software firm Cognos, in exchange for at least $65,000 in kickbacks.

Codefendant Richard McDonough was also found guilty, while accountant Richard Vitale was cleared of all charges.
U.S. Attorney Carmen Ortiz said, “The jury’s verdict today has demonstrated that despite having been the powerful speaker of the house, he was still not above the law.”

DiMasi’s attorneys have already said they will appeal this decision.

Bailey said, “I think in this case it could go all the way to the United States Supreme Court.”