A former press spokesman for Salvatore DiMasi says the then-Massachusetts House speaker denied any links to the software firm Cognos after questions first began to arise publicly about the speaker's role in a state contract awarded the company.
Testifying Wednesday in the corruption trial of DiMasi and two associates, David Guarino said he went to the speaker for a response to inquiries The Boston Globe was making about the $13 million contract.
Guarino said DiMasi told him he had not been in contact with Cognos officials and later said he was unaware the company was paying his law associate — money prosecutors contend was being funneled to the speaker.
Earlier Wednesday, an auditor testified that DiMasi sank into deep debt after becoming speaker. Prosecutors contend DiMasi's financial woes were a motive for the alleged scheme.
"Andrea Roller got up there and showed in very great detail just how much DiMasi lost when he became speaker, from his law practice, and showed this incredibly large personal debt, credit card debt and liabilities he had," said State House News Service reporter Kyle Cheney.
With reporting from The Associated Press and the WBUR Newsroom
This program aired on June 1, 2011. The audio for this program is not available.