BOSTON (CBS/AP) — Former Massachusetts House Speaker Salvatore DiMasi has been sentenced to eight years in federal prison for using his clout to steer two state contracts to a software firm in exchange for kickbacks.

His sentence will be followed by two years of supervised release.  DiMasi was also ordered to forfeit $65,000.

The judge recommended DiMasi serve his time at The Federal Medical Center (FMC) Devens, which is designated for prisoners requiring specialized or long-term medical or mental health care.

After court, Sal DiMasi had nothing to say about the sentence. His attorney Tom Kiley said they plan to appeal. “A chapter is closed, we are happy to be past it. The next chapter will be in the First Circuit (court of appeals) that’s all we have to say.”

Watch WBZ-TV’s Karen Anderson’s report

US Attorney Carmen Ortiz calls it a substantial sentence. She said, “Even thought the defense focused on confusion of actions, or that there was confusion of the statutes, that the statutes were unclear, the reality is at the core of this case, it was simply about a high powerful Speaker of the House who took bribes and kickbacks, in exchange for using his political position to benefit himself and his friend. Basically he sold his office. That’s what he got convicted of, that’s what he sentenced for today.”

The sentence was apparently intended to send a message to Beacon Hill. “Politicians usually don’t want public corruption treated as a serious crime,” Wolf said. “I’m concerned (corruption by public officials) will discourage honest and able citizens from running for office.”

Does Ortiz think this will deter corruption on Beacon Hill? “Quite frankly I’m not sure. I hope so,” Ortiz says adding “I don’t think there is rampant corruption on Beacon Hill. It’s more the sense that there doesn’t seem to be a sensitivity and a realization that corruption by public officials is a serious and unacceptable crime. There seems to be almost a tolerance for it.”

She says, “Many of them believe that in the nature of their work, while they champion causes for those less fortunate, while they’re engaged in good works, that somehow that mitigates illegal conduct or corrupt behavior. It’s striking that elected officials may think their good works, if you’re engaged in good work, a little corrpution is okay. It’s not okay.”

Defense attorneys asked for three years, citing DiMasi’s public service and strong family ties.

U.S. District Court Judge Mark Wolf did acknowledge DiMasi’s service.

“I have come to learn more about you and your characteristics, your personal history, your good works,” Wolf told DiMasi. “I’m satisfied you did advocate for the disadvantaged… But… in my view you sold those people out.”

WBZ NewsRadio 1030’s Jim Smith reports

Prosecutors had asked for a 12 1/2 year sentence for DiMasi, convicted in June on charges of conspiracy, extortion and honest services fraud.

DiMasi delivered an emotional speech in court Thursday, calling himself a broken man and asking Wolf to show mercy.

Wolf on Friday also sentenced co-defendant Richard McDonough, a prominent Statehouse lobbyist, to seven years for his role in the scheme.

Judge Wolf said he will take six to eight weeks to decide whether DiMasi will be allowed to be free pending his appeal.

“It’s undisputed Mrs. DiMasi has significant health problem that has a particular urgency to it,” he said.

In the meantime, DiMasi has been ordered to report to prison on December 16.

Mayor Menino, who has known DiMasi for 35 years and calls him a friend says, “He made a message and the judicial system is coming down on him. We’ve got to support his family. Sal’s helped alot of people, but he made that mistake and in our business you can make mistakes, and Sal made that mistake.”

WBZ-TV’s Karen Anderson contributed to this report

(TM and © Copyright 2011 CBS Radio Inc. and its relevant subsidiaries. CBS RADIO and EYE Logo TM and Copyright 2011 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 (23)
  1. Willow says:

    I’ll begin to feel sorry for this clown when he finally begins serving his sentence….maybe!!

  2. Ajay says:

    Devens is the country club of federal facilities. Wonder how he managed that?

  3. gigi says:

    what nerve the defense has to cite ‘public service’ as a reason to be lenient – if DiMasi truly believed he was a public servant he would have been faithful to the people and his position in the first place and all of this would not have happened! what a joke

  4. Jane Howell says:

    DiMasi has to start his sentence now, not be free until he files for an appeal. Why should he get special favors…He is a criminal treat him like one… He knew what he was doing when he partied on our money…now he has to pay. Shame on him.

  5. Paul Walsh says:

    How many more Mr. Speaker

  6. chilitokid says:

    I’m just wondering who’s next?

  7. msw says:

    He’ll remain free pending the appeal which will take a few years and taxpayers will foot the bill for that too – guaranteed

  8. Mary Hamilton says:

    Leave this family alone. They have suffered enough. What has happened to good manners in this country. It is becoming so trashy with so many ignorant people in it and it is getting worse.

    1. jak says:

      What??? Are you a relitive of this bum? UGH!!!

      1. jaygee says:

        Mary, have you been hiding under a rock for the last 5 years? And don’t call me Shirley.

  9. Mary Hamilton says:


    No i am not a relative of this man (not) bum get your english together!!

    1. Ed dracut says:

      Mary you must be a hack working for the state. Or did Sal get someone in your family a cushy state job??? Come on Mary tell the truth…. He is a convicted FELON. He should just as anyone else after they have bben convicted hand cuffed and led out of the courthouse and sent directly to jail. Do not pass go don not collect $200. Our judical system has a process for appealing a conviction. Sal should wait out that process in JAIL just like the little people have to.

  10. taxwhak says:

    Dear Mr. DiMasi,

    Please enjoy your time at the hotel on my dime. I understand that it’s a place where reflection and comtemplation are not only encouraged, but are the core amenties of the facility!

    The cuisine should be something to look forward to. I understand it’s a great place to forge new friendships over a healthy meal.

    I hope you enjoy my gift to you. Please take advantage of all that this resort has to offer.


    The Taxpayers of Massachusetts

  11. Mary Hamilton says:

    You spelled Sincerely wrong!! Check your Grammar and Spelling!

    1. Tom Finneran says:

      Mary from the North End…..if that’s your real name, McLean Hospital is having an open house this week-end specializing in DENIAL. Perhaps you would like to attend.

  12. taxedout says:

    Why not the Hilton??? Pretty soon we won’t have any room left for all the Mass pol’s in the can!!!

  13. Mark says:

    He needs to be behind bars while waiting to appeal just like any other criminal who is found GUILTY!

  14. highlandbird says:

    I find it disgusting that other politicians wrote letters praising the guy. This is what we get in Mass for having a Democratic monopoly. Let’s hope Scott Brown can hold on to his seat. So much for the peoples republic of mass run by pols who are going to bring us social justice. LOL.

  15. emom says:


  16. The Truth Hurts says:

    Why is it when Demoncrats are finally caught showing their true criminally corrupt colors, the news articles never mention political party. But the second the occasional Republican steps out of line we get weeks of ‘Republican’ shenanigans? Whenever Republicans or Conservatives commit crimes, the Republican Party crucifies them (and rightly so). But when Demoncrats or Pregressives step out of line, as they all do, they are celebrated and rewarded? The modern Liberals, controlling the modern Demoncrat Party, are mentally defectives and degenerates!

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