Wednesday, December 9, 2009

Just when you think it can’t get any worse!

Just when you think Beacon Hill can’t get any worse, it goes and outdoes itself! According to a damning article in today’s Boston Globe, former Speaker of the House Sal DiMasi signed a contract with a law firm to represent the speaker’s office in a federal corruption case. The Boston Globe reports, “The state House of Representatives has paid private attorneys nearly $378,000 in taxpayer money to represent the speaker’s office in a federal corruption investigation of former House speaker Salvatore DiMasi.” The report goes on to say “DiMasi handpicked the law firm a few weeks before he resigned on Jan. 27, as the US attorney’s office was stepping up its probe of allegations that the speaker took money from a software company, Cognos, in exchange for helping the firm win state contracts.”

You’ll notice in the article, that the payments to the law firm Gargiulo/Rudnick were all made well after DiMasi resigned. When asked about this story, House Minority Leader Brad Jones said “I’m amazed - disgusted is a better word.” The top Republican in the House goes onto say “I find it particularly offensive because I’m asking my staff to take a furlough. That everyone has to contribute five days to the Sal DiMasi defense fund is outrageous.’’

Offensive indeed! What’s worse is that even after DiMasi stepped down, this contract continued! Is there a reason why this contract wasn’t reviewed and terminated? This entire situation reeks of corruption and it is this kind of event that tarnishes the reputations of hard working, decent lawmakers.