(Stephen Savoia/Associated Press)
DiMasi lawyer seeks term of 3 years
He cites former House speaker’s public service
(Stephen Savoia/Associated Press)
An attorney for former House speaker Salvatore F. DiMasi is recommending a three-year prison term when his client is sentenced next month for his conviction on federal corruption charges, court records show.
In a filing yesterday, Thomas R. Kiley said his recommendation is appropriate, two days after prosecutors requested a sentence of 12 years and seven months.
“This is particularly true in light of Mr. DiMasi’s history and characteristics and the fact that he derived a very small personal benefit from the offense,’’ Kiley wrote.
Prosecutors have also proposed that DiMasi forfeit $65,000, the amount of money that he directly received as part of the scheme.
DiMasi and co-defendant Richard McDonough were convicted in June of using DiMasi’s power as speaker to steer two state contracts totaling $17.5 million in 2006 and 2007 toward
A third defendant, DiMasi’s friend and former accountant, Richard Vitale, was acquitted.
Kiley made several arguments in yesterday’s brief, including a contention that $600,000 paid to Vitale in the case “was not shown, even by a preponderance of the evidence, to have been caused by Mr. DiMasi or to have been paid to Vitale for Mr. DiMasi’s benefit.’’
Kiley also listed several former high-ranking public officials convicted on corruption charges, including former state senator Dianne Wilkerson and former Boston city councilor Chuck Turner, who received sentences far below the guidelines being applied to DiMasi.
Former Cognos salesman Joseph P. Lally Jr. pleaded guilty to charges related to the scheme and testified for the government against the other men.
In their sentencing recommendation for DiMasi, prosecutors asked US District Chief Judge Mark L. Wolf to consider DiMasi’s position when he carried out his crimes, as well as his refusal to take responsibility for his actions, which exacerbated “the public distrust of political leaders.’’
But in a 57-page filing yesterday, Kiley quoted excerpts from letters written on DiMasi’s behalf by relatives and other supporters who described his humble upbringing in the North End and a distinguished career in public service that spanned three decades.
A former DiMasi aide identified as Maryann Calia recalled that as a young prosecutor in the Suffolk district attorney’s office, DiMasi worked hard on a case involving “mayhem against several local college athletes.’’
“I watched him prepare for this case, which was very important to him not only because it was one that could make his career, but because the facts of this case were so horrific that he wanted to be certain he got it right,’’ Calia wrote. “That is one of my first memories of Mr. DiMasi; someone who is passionate about helping those in need and offering hope to those who believe all is lost.’’
Supporters also recalled DiMasi’s work as a legislator on behalf of poor constituents, the elderly, gay rights, and health care reform, among many other causes.
In their filing Wednesday, prosecutors said they anticipated those plaudits and that “creditable public service is to be expected, and any legislative accomplishments were part of the job the voters and his colleagues elected him to do.’’
Separately, prosecutors are recommending a 10-year sentence for McDonough.
In a filing yesterday, his attorney recommended a two-year prison term, in part because McDonough has no prior criminal record and is a “distinguished and well-regarded lobbyist’’ in Boston and a devoted family man.
His lawyer, Thomas Drechsler, argued that no public funds were lost in the case, because Cognos software is a “high-quality product’’ and
DiMasi and McDonough are slated to be sentenced Sept. 8.
Lally’s sentencing is slated for October, and prosecutors are recommending a prison term of two to three years, according to court documents.