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Massachusetts Liberal

Observations on politics, the media and life in Massachusetts and beyond from the left side of the road.

Monday, December 28, 2009

No Sal-vation in these allegations

The response from indicted former Speaker Sal DiMasi's attorneys to the details of federal charges against their client perhaps says more than the charges themselves:
“While the indictment contains many page of factual allegations, it never crystallizes them into a coherent theory."
Are they conceding the facts and just putting the puzzle pieces together another way? That's awfully different from saying the charges are baseless and not worth the paper they are written on.

The most interesting new allegation is that DiMasi and Richard Vitale allegedly conspired to profit from peddling the contract to maintain the state Transportation Building. Think about that one.

While the feds obviously didn't have enough to prove the allegations (score one for Sal's side) prosecutors contend the allegations are helpful:
“...to fully explain the chain of events that unfolded as part of the charged conspiracy, to show the nature of the illegal relationship between Vitale and DiMasi, and to explain some of their motives and conduct...’’
Critics of the prosecution also focus on the use of "honest services" charges, which appear to be vague and could disappear after a Supreme Court decision later this term.

While the picture outlined by the prosecutors may or may not pass the legal test, it certainly doesn't pass the smell test. DiMasi did not have the public's interest at the top of his mind when he ran the House. We are far better off with him out of office, whether he ends up behind bars or not.

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