Taxpayers To Pay For DiMasi’s Trial Defense

BOSTON (CBS/AP) – Former House Speaker Sal DiMasi’s corruption trial begins next month and taxpayers will pay for his defense.

DiMasi and friends Joseph McDonough and Richard Vitale are charged with scheming to rig lucrative state contracts for the Burlington software company Cognos in exchange for payments, with DiMasi allegedly pocketing $57,000.

A federal judge ruled Thursday that DiMasi can use court-appointed lawyers and named his current attorneys Thomas Kiley and William Cintolo to fill that role.

“The court finds that DiMasi is unable to continue to retain counsel privately and that exceptional circumstances justify the appointment of his previously retained counsel,” U.S. District Court Chief Judge Mark Wolf wrote in his ruling.

His team would earn the standard $125 an hour for government-appointed lawyers.  If the trial lasts two months, DiMasi’s total legal bills could top $100,000.

WBZ-TV’s Sera Congi reports

Earlier this month, another co-defendant, Joseph Lally, pleaded guilty and agreed to testify against DiMasi and the others as part of a plea deal with prosecutors.

The trial is scheduled to start on April 26.

(TM and © Copyright 2010 CBS Radio Inc. and its relevant subsidiaries. CBS RADIO and EYE Logo TM and Copyright 2010 CBS Broadcasting Inc. Used under license. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed. The Associated Press contributed to this report.)


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