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Local Politicians React To DiMasi Guilty Verdict

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Former Mass. House Speaker Sal DiMasi outside court on Wednesday, June 15, 2011.

Former Mass. House Speaker Sal DiMasi outside court on Wednesday, June 15, 2011.

WBZ-TV's Joe Shortsleeve Joe Shortsleeve
Joe Shortsleeve is chief correspondent for WBZ-TV News weekdays a...
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BOSTON (CBS/AP) – Bay State politicians weighed in with their opinions after former Massachusetts House Speaker Sal DiMasi was found guilty in his corruption trial on Wednesday.

PATRICK: DIMASI TRIAL A “DISAPPOINTING CHAPTER”

Gov. Deval Patrick is calling the conviction of DiMasi on federal corruption charges “the end of a very disappointing chapter.”

Patrick spoke to reporters outside his office Wednesday after a jury convicted the former Democratic speaker of scheming to steer two state contracts worth $17.5 million to a software firm in exchange for payments.

Read: Keller @ Large: Political Culture Convicted

Patrick, also a Democrat, testified during the trial that DiMasi pressed him to approve a software contract that prosecutors allege was part of the kickback scheme.

WBZ-TV’s Joe Shortsleeve spoke to Statehouse politicians about the DiMasi verdict:

Patrick said he’s worked to ensure members of his administration are mindful that they work for the public, not themselves.

Asked if changes need to be made at the Statehouse as a result of the conviction, Patrick said “we’re still human beings who work here.”

BROWN APPLAUDS DIMASI JURY ON GUILTY VERDICT

U.S. Sen. Scott Brown is applauding a federal jury for convicting DiMasi.

Brown, a Republican, said in a statement on Wednesday that jurors delivered a message that the “business-as-usual, go-along-to-get-along mentality in Massachusetts politics will not be tolerated.”

WBZ NewsRadio 1030’s Mary Blake spoke to an attorney about the DiMasi case:

Brown, who served as a state senator and state representative before being elected to the U.S. Senate, said the facts of the case against DiMasi are disturbing to voters who expect honest service from elected officials.

DiMasi was convicted of conspiracy, fraud and extortion.

DELEO: DIMASI CORRUPTION CASE “DEEPLY TROUBLING”

House Speaker Robert DeLeo, who succeeded DiMasi as the Democratic leader of the Massachusetts House, says DiMasi’s conviction in a federal corruption deals a powerful blow to the public’s trust in government.

DeLeo says what came out at the federal trial was “deeply troubling” and he feels angry and disappointed.

DiMasi, who left office in 2009, was convicted Wednesday of conspiracy, fraud and extortion.

DeLeo said in a statement that given this and other recent public corruption cases, he understands why voters would hold negative feelings toward public officials.

Senate President Therese Murray, also a Democrat, called Wednesday a “sad day” for Massachusetts, and said the actions of one person should not cast a shadow over the entire Legislature.

(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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