Ex-speaker DiMasi seeks to set aside corruption sentence; argues ineffective legal counsel



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BOSTON — Former Massachusetts House Speaker Salvatore DiMasi on Tuesday requested that his eight-year federal prison sentence in a corruption case be put aside or reduced.

DiMasi said in court documents that he received ineffective legal counsel during his 2011 trial and subsequent appeal. In the handwritten motion, signed Jan. 26 and filed in U.S. District Court, DiMasi argues among other things that his trial attorney had a conflict of interest and had failed to call as witnesses some people he previously represented.

Attorney Thomas Kiley, who represented DiMasi, said he had not seen the filing and could not comment.

The motion was filed under a U.S. law that allows federal prisoners to ask that their sentence be vacated, set aside or corrected.

Prosecutors said the Boston Democrat used his political clout to steer state contracts to a software company in exchange for payments totaling $65,000.

The new motion comes about a year after the U.S. Supreme Court declined to hear DiMasi's appeal of his conviction for conspiracy, extortion and theft of honest services by fraud and a bribery charge. A federal appeals court had previously upheld the conviction.

DiMasi, 69, is being held at a federal facility in Butner, North Carolina, and is scheduled for release in November 2018. He has been treated for cancer while in prison.

Former Statehouse lobbyist Richard McDonough, who also was convicted of conspiracy and fraud in the case, filed a similar motion to vacate or correct his seven-year prison sentence last month, according to court records.

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