BOSTON (AP) — A federal judge has denied former Massachusetts House Speaker Salvatore DiMasi’s request to serve the remainder of his prison sentence in Rhode Island and ordered him returned to Kentucky.

The decision issued Sunday said DiMasi “has not demonstrated any need to remain” in Rhode Island, while the government “has provided persuasive reasons to deny his request.”

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The 66-year-old DiMasi is serving an eight-year sentence following his conviction in June for steering state contracts to a software firm in exchange for payments of $65,000. He was transferred to Rhode Island on Feb. 9 for reasons unrelated to his case. His lawyers requested that he be allowed to stay there pending appeal.

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The judge said the Kentucky facility is better equipped to deal with DiMasi’s medical conditions and it is cheaper to keep him there.

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Copyright 2012 The Associated Press.