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Ex-Speaker DiMasi Has Stage 4 Cancer, Lawyer Says

Convicted former House Speaker Salvatore DiMasi was denied treatment in prison and now has Stage 4 cancer, his attorney, Thomas Kiley, said in court documents filed Tuesday.

Kiley, who is appealing DiMasi’s corruption conviction, said his client’s care was delayed while he was moved around the country to participate in a separate grand jury investigation.

“The preliminary diagnosis [in January] was that the lumps were potentially cancerous,” Kiley wrote in a court motion (PDF). “Before further testing could be done on the lumps on his neck, he was transported from Kentucky, through other federal detention facilities, to the federal detention facility in Central Falls, Rhode Island for his appearance before a Federal Grand Jury in the District of Massachusetts.

“At each detention facility Mr. DiMasi passed through, he requested medical treatment and asked that the tests that were supposed to have been done in Kentucky be performed. He received no such treatment or testing.”

Kiley said DiMasi wasn’t examined again until April, when doctors found a lesion on his tongue.

In May, according to Kiley, DiMasi was told that his cancer had apparently spread. The former speaker is now preparing to begin radiation and chemotherapy.

“Mr. DiMasi is preparing to begin radiation on his tongue — which will be quite painful and affect his ability to speak,” Kiley wrote. “He will be unable to eat and will require a feeding tube placed in his stomach. After the radiation is completed, Mr. DiMasi will undergo seven (7) weeks of Chemotherapy.”

With the motion, Kiley sought to extend the deadline to prepare his opening brief in the appeal, citing DiMasi’s upcoming treatment. A judge granted that motion Tuesday.

Last year, DiMasi was sentenced to eight years in prison for steering millions of dollars in state contracts to a software company.

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