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Lawyers File Appeal for Former Mass. House Speaker DiMasi

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WikiMedia Commons

Lawyers for former Massachusetts House Speaker Salvatore DiMasi say federal prosecutors failed to prove at trial that he agreed to accept payments in exchange for official acts. WAMC’s Lucas Willard reports…

In a lengthy appeal filed on Tuesday with the 1st U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals, DiMasi's legal team also argues that the eight-year prison sentence imposed on the Boston Democrat was "substantively unreasonable" and in effect punished him for the past crimes of other Massachusetts politicians.

DiMasi was convicted by a jury in June 2011 of charges including extortion and conspiracy. He was accused of using his influence as Speaker to steer two lucrative state contracts to a software firm in exchange for payments of $65,000.

The appeal asks that DiMasi be resentenced while the appeal of the conviction is being consider

Lucas Willard is a reporter and host at WAMC Northeast Public Radio, which he joined in 2011.