State Asks To Halt DiMasi Pension Payments

A Superior Court judge is considering a request to halt pension payments to former House Speaker Salvatore DiMasi, following his corruption conviction.

Lawyers for the state asked Superior Court Judge Janet Sanders on Tuesday afternoon to put DiMasi’s $5,000-a-month pension into an escrow account until the former speaker is sentenced in early September.

Assistant Attorney General David Marks told Sanders that given DiMasi’s finances, if his conviction is upheld, the state may not be able to recover any payments it makes to him.

DiMasi’s lawyer, Tom Kiley, said the state doesn’t have the right to do anything with DiMasi’s pension until he’s exhausted all his appeals.

Sanders did say that now that DiMasi’s been convicted, “there seems to be something really wrong about his collecting retirement benefits.” She also said her decision boils down to whether the state has “a reasonable likelihood of being able to reclaim” any money it pays DiMasi between now and the time he’s exhausted all his appeals.

The state Retirement Board has to cut its first check to DiMasi since his conviction on Friday, so the state is asking Sanders to make a decision by then.

Earlier this month, a jury found the former speaker guilty of taking kickbacks in exchange for steering multimillion-dollar state contracts to a software firm.

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