In the latest twist in the scandal that led to the resignation last year of House Speaker Salvatore F. DiMasi, the State Ethics Commission charged today that the former sales agent for the software company Cognos Corp. violated the state's conflict of interest law by trying to bribe two top state IT officials.
While state officials were mulling whether to award a contract to Cognos, sales agent Joseph P. Lally Jr. allegedly contacted Stuart Lecky, the chief operating officer of the state's Information Technology Division and offered him a consulting position at Lally's company, Montvale Solutions LLC. Lally also allegedly offered to assist Lecky in getting the chief information officer job at the MBTA, the commission said in a statement.
Lally also allegedly offered Bethann Pepoli, who was the acting chief information officer of the ITD at the time, a $170,000-a-year job at Montvale and asked her if she would like him to have then-House speaker Salvatore F. DiMasi intercede on her behalf so she could get a permanent appointment.
An order to show cause issued by the commission alleges that by offering the jobs and career assistance to the officials "Lally attempted to bribe and/or offer illegal gratuities to the state employees." The officials didn't accept any of Lally's offers, the commission said.
In 2007, Cognos had a $15 million proposal before the ITD. Lally, through Montvale, represented Cognos. The state eventually purchased the performance software license for $13 million. Cognos then paid Montvale $2.8 million as a commission. In turn, Lally received nearly $1.5 million.
DiMasi resigned as speaker in January 2009. He was indicted in June, along with Lally and two other men, on charges that they conspired to steer the contract to Cognos. DiMasi is accused of receiving $57,000 for using his influence to help Cognos.
The commission said that within 90 days, it would schedule a public hearing on the civil charges
On the beat
Columnist Shirley Leung says Boston mayor-elect Martin J. Walsh should focus on middle-class housing. Read more