Ex-Massachusetts House Speaker Convicted in Cognos Bribery Case
DiMasi is the third Massachusetts speaker in a row to have been convicted of wrongdoing
By: Maureen O'Gara
Jun. 16, 2011 08:00 AM
After an six-week trial in federal court, the former Massachusetts Speaker of the House Salvatore F. DiMasi, once one of the state's most powerful politicians, was convicted Wednesday of trading $17.5 million worth of state contracts for kickbacks from Cognos, the Canadian BI shop that now belongs to IBM.
IBM and Cognos were never involved. Between 2005 and 2007, the $65,000 in bribes was secretly funneled to DiMasi by one of Cognos' local sales VPs Joseph Lally. He turned state's evidence in return for a lighter sentence.
After the Boston Globe exposed the conspiracy and forced DiMasi to resign in 2009, IBM returned $13 million of the contract money. It was found that one of the two contracts had skirted bidding rules.
DiMasi is the third Massachusetts speaker in a row to have been convicted of wrongdoing but the only one facing a 20-year prison sentence.
He was convicted on seven of nine counts including extortion, mail fraud and wire fraud. Sentencing is set for August 18. He is expected to appeal.
Cognos is still doing business with the state but apparently there may be some review in light of evidence presented in court.
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