(Patricia McDonell for The Boston Globe)
Patrick and DiMasi at a May 2008 event.
By Martin Finucane, Globe Staff
Governor Deval Patrick said today he had talked with former House Speaker Salvatore F. DiMasi about performance management software, but downplayed the suggestion that DiMasi had discussed with him a particular company, Cognos ULC, that provided such software and was seeking a state contract.
"Not so much Cognos," Patrick said in an interview on WTKK-FM. "I certainly knew he was interested in this software."
DiMasi, who resigned in January, was indicted Tuesday by a federal grand jury on a charge of participating in a scheme when he was speaker that allowed him to pocket $57,000 in payments from Cognos while making sure the company won state contracts.
After his appearance on the "Ask the Governor with Jim and Margery" radio show, Patrick was more vague about his interactions with DiMasi, saying, "What I know – and I don't think this is news, either – we knew of his interest in performance management."
Patrick also defended his administration's actions in awarding one state computer contract that was allegedly rigged with DiMasi's help.
"First of all, we're the ones who called in the [Inspector General] when our team first got wind of cause for concern and I have absolute confidence that our team in every respect performed professionally and with integrity," Patrick said in the interview.
"We have been investigated by both the Inspector General and the US attorney's office because we asked them to come in and have a look at it," he said on the radio show.
Braude asked Patrick, "Did he at any point have a conversation with you, he -- DiMasi -- about his interest in Cognos getting the contract?"
Patrick: "Not so much Cognos, but I certainly knew he was interested in this software."
Braude: "From him?"
Patrick: "Oh, yeah."
Patrick: "Yeah, sure."
Critics have seized on the impression that the Patrick administration, which awarded one of two Cognos contracts cited in the indictment, failed to respond to a series of red flags indicating that DiMasi and others were exerting heavy influence, the Globe reports today.
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