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Ex-Patrick Budget Chief: DiMasi Pushed Contract

BOSTON — A former budget official for Gov. Deval Patrick has testified that she was repeatedly pressed by former Massachusetts House Speaker Salvatore DiMasi to sign off on a multimillion-dollar software contract.

Leslie Kirwan, who served as secretary of administration and finance, testified at DiMasi’s public corruption trial that DiMasi spoke to her about the contract at two meetings, during a phone call and when the two met at an unrelated event at Fenway Park.

“She made it clear DiMasi had a great deal of interest in those contracts for [the software company] Cognos,” said WBUR’s David Boeri from federal courthouse. “She also said under defense questioning that he never pushed for Cognos by name, but she knew he had an inordinate interest in it.”

Kirwan said she didn’t believe the state was ready for the $13 million performance management software, but ultimately agreed, hoping DiMasi would relent on the administration’s proposed siting of a state data center.

The contract was later cancelled.

Prosecutors say the contract was one of two for Cognos that DiMasi and three associates pushed in return for kickbacks.

The trial resumes on Friday, when Patrick will likely be called to the stand.

With reporting from The Associated Press and the WBUR Newsroom

Earlier Trial Recap:

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