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 This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.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.)

Comments (12)
  1. jaygee says:

    Sal and his wife certainly dress and live quite well for people with no money. One would think that his :good friends: would represent him pro-bono but I think we are all aware that this is just a final slap in the face to the citizens of this state. Perhaps the former Speaker and Chuck T. can become partners in the game of Whist while in the big house. Then again, I think Chuck would decline the offer on principle.

  2. Willow says:

    HAAAAA, you said it jaygee! I can see it now, no one will blow the whistle on these guys if they continue to use court appointed attorneys and charge it to the taxpayers? Why are they allowing this in the first place? If a person is poor and can’t afford an attorney, that’s one thing. This is not right!!

  3. 1608 says:

    I didn’t make as much in 5 yrs. as he did in one, but I had to pay for my defence.

  4. Sue F. says:

    The judge is probably friends with all of them…

    1. Natalina says:

      If you read the case from the beginning Judge Wolf filed to Disqualify
      Bill Cintolo from the first day the case started, Judge Wolf was Right!
      Tom Kiley conviced Judge Wolf everything was ok.
      Tom Kiley said, that his Associated would not be a problem with this case, this
      is Tom Kiley’s Fault, Tom Kiley exercised poor judgment he
      should finish what he started from CEK, Consgrove, Eisenberg and Kiley.

  5. Mark says:

    Let him take a second mortgage out on his house or sell off his summer home (I’m sure he has one). What a travesty of justice this is. Typical of MA though. I’m also sure the judge was appointed from his district.

  6. response says:

    Here is the criteria of getting a court appointed attorney in MA:
    “In the Commonwealth of Massachusetts, you are entitled to a court appointed attorney if you cannot afford to hire an attorney, and if the Court determines that an important interest, excluding disputes over money, is at stake”

    I call BS….

  7. KEVIN says:


  8. P$#*ed OFF says:

    Seriously are we really going to have to pay for this guy to only to be found guilty. Awesome totally AWESOME. I am glad I work hard and struggle to make ends meet and this guy who mostlikely has $$ stashed all over the place is making we the good citizens of MA pay for his trial. Way to go.

  9. Adriane says:

    This is just plain wrong. If I went to trial, they’d take my house. Why can’t they tap his house. The Commonwealth of Massachusetts (not the State of Massachusetts) is in the red as it is. Why should a public defender be assigned? Today’s report said that he can keep his previous attorney. For what? Second chair? Not a chance. The PD will just be the attorney’s puppet. Not funny.

  10. fotne says:

    He has the money.

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