Prosecution Asks For 12-Year Prison Term For DiMasi

By Jess Bidgood

Aug. 25, 2011

BOSTON — Federal prosecutors say former Massachusetts House Speaker Sal DiMasi should face twelve-and-a-half years in prison after his conviction on corruption charges earlier this year.

That would be the longest jail sentence ever served by a Massachusetts politician.

DiMasi was convicted in June of conspiring to steer a government contract toward a software company, Cognos, in exchange for kickbacks.

In a sentencing memo, prosecutors said DiMasi did not perform a one-off crime, but took a series of bribes and undertook a series of duties on Cognos' behalf over time. His being a public official at the time worsened the severity of the crime, they said.

"Any public official who engages in a bribery/kickback scheme severely undermines the trust that citizens place in their elected officials to act honestly and without self-interest," read the brief. "He undermines the work of the majority of the other non-corrupt public officials who put forth an honest effort and act in the interest of the public."

DiMasi will be senteced by Judge Mark Wolf in September.

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