Feds Ask For 12-Year Prison Term For DiMasi

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Federal prosecutors are asking a judge to sentence former Massachusetts House Speaker Salvatore DiMasi to 12 1/2 years in prison on corruption charges.

DiMasi was convicted in June on charges he used his clout as speaker to steer two lucrative state contracts to software firm Cognos in exchange for payments.

In a 19-page sentencing memo filed with U.S. District Court Judge Mark Wolf on Wednesday, prosecutors said DiMasi deserves the sentence because he was an elected public official with significant authority whose offenses involved multiple bribe payments. Prosecutors say he was convicted of "essentially trading the powers of his public office for the private gain of himself and his close friends."

"DiMasi's sentence should reflect the seriousness of his offense, promote respect for the law, provide just punishment, and afford adequate deterrence," prosecutors said. "A sentence of 12 years and 7 months, which by the government's review would be the most severe sentence ever imposed in a political corruption case in Massachusetts, certainly does so."

The prosecutors also suggested "DiMasi should not be released pending his appeal but should be incarcerated as any other defendant."

DiMasi is scheduled to be sentenced Sept. 8. His lawyers' sentencing recommendation is due to be filed Friday.

In a separate sentencing memo, prosecutors said that DiMasi co-defendant Richard McDonough should receive a sentence of 121 months, or just over 10 years.

With reporting by The Associated Press and WBUR's Benjamin Swasey

-- Here's the DiMasi sentencing memorandum (on Scribd):

This program aired on August 24, 2011. The audio for this program is not available.