Facing prison time, DiMasi fights to keep law license
Ex-House Speaker Salvatore F. DiMasi wants the Office of the Bar Counsel to drop its fight this week to suspend his law license, on the grounds that his ability to earn a living could persuade a federal judge to put off sending him to prison on his felony corruption conviction.
The self-proclaimed destitute Democrat — who prosecutors say they will recommend be locked up for 12 to 15 years at his Sept. 8 sentencing by U.S. District Court Chief Judge Mark L. Wolf —has a bar discipline hearing Thursday in front of Supreme Judicial Court Justice Margot Botsford.
The 65-year-old DiMasi’s conviction is not considered official until he’s sentenced. In documents at the SJC, DiMasi’s attorney Thomas Kiley contends suspending his law license would be strictly “punitive” since DiMasi poses no threat to the public. “The theoretical opportunity to make a living will be a practical consideration if (Wolf) acts favorably on the post-verdict motions.”
DiMasi was found guilty last month of conspiracy, extortion and fraud for taking $65,000 in bribes while in office to steer a Canadian software firm two multimillion-dollar state contracts. He is asking Wolf to grant him a new trial on the grounds he “was unfairly prejudiced by an extraordinary amount . . . of hearsay.” Prosecutors countered in opposition papers filed Friday that the evidence against DiMasi was “overwhelming.”
DiMasi did not respond to requests for comment yesterday.