DiMasi Corruption Trial Nears End

The federal corruption trial of former Massachusetts House Speaker Salvatore DiMasi is winding down.

U.S. District Court Judge Mark Wolf told the jury Monday that he expects the defense to wrap up its case Wednesday and lawyers to give closing arguments on Thursday. The trial began on April 26.

On Monday, the defense called former state education commissioner David Driscoll as its first witness.

Driscoll testified that DiMasi didn't press him to support a state contract that DiMasi and two associates are accused of steering to the Burlington software company Cognos in exchange for kickbacks.

Driscoll said he spoke with DiMasi only twice about the $4.5 million software contract. He said DiMasi didn't advocate for Cognos, but told him he supported the technology project while warning him that it might not get approved because of budget woes.

The defense plans to offer more detail on how business is routinely conducted at the State House. Potential witnesses include lobbyists and current legislative leaders: both Speaker Robert DeLeo and Senate President Therese Murray.

The defense is also expected to raise more questions about the credibility of a key government witness — former Cognos software salesman and onetime defendant Joseph Lally.

Judge Wolf is waiting until the end of the trial to rule on defense motions to dismiss the charges.

The Associated Press and WBUR's Mark Degon contributed to this report.

This program aired on June 6, 2011. The audio for this program is not available.


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