Witness In Mass. Corruption Case Gets 18 Months

A former software salesman whose testimony was instrumental in the corruption trial of former Massachusetts House Speaker Salvatore DiMasi has been sentenced to 18 months in prison for his role in the scheme.

Joseph Lally was sentenced Wednesday after pleading guilty earlier and cooperating with federal prosecutors in exchange for a lighter penalty. His prison term will be followed by three years of supervised release. He must also pay a $50,000 fine.

"The judge told Lally that he was thoroughly disreputable and dishonest in his professional life, that he lied as a matter of course in his career, but at this trial the judge believed he told the truth, he provided substantial assistance to the government," reported WBUR's David Boeri.

Prosecutors had recommended 28 months in prison. Defense attorneys wanted a one-year sentence followed by six months of home confinement. Lally could have faced more than 10 years under federal guidelines.

Lally testified about a scheme to use DiMasi's political clout to steer two state contracts to Cognos in exchange for kickbacks. DiMasi is appealing his sentence of eight years in prison.

With reporting by The Associated Press and the WBUR Newsroom

This article was originally published on October 19, 2011.

This program aired on October 19, 2011. The audio for this program is not available.


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