U.S. District Court Judge Mark Wolf has denied former Massachusetts House Speaker Sal DiMasi's request to postpone the date he reports to prison. DiMasi must report to a Kentucky prison on Nov. 30 and will be behind bars during the holidays and his wife's continued breast cancer treatment.
DiMasi was sentenced in September to eight years in prison, in connection with a kickback scheme involving state software contracts.
DiMasi had hoped to use that extra time to change his prison assignment, which followed a recommendation by Wolf that DiMasi serve his sentence in Devens because of treatment he receives for heart disease.
In a last-minute motion, lawyers for DiMasi asked the judge to withdraw that recommendation. Without concern for DiMasi's medical condition, his lawyers hoped the Bureau of Prisons would assign DiMasi to a prison that is close enough for his wife to visit him.
But the Wolf said a further postponement of his sentence would encourage the perception that the "previously powerful" receive "preferential treatment."
Prosecutors opposed the late request, as well as a separate motion by DiMasi co-defendant Richard McDonough that he be allowed to remain free until after the holidays, so he can spend more time with his 93-year-old mother.
The WBUR Newsroom, Mark Degon and The Associated Press contributed to this report.
This article was originally published on November 23, 2011.
This program aired on November 23, 2011. The audio for this program is not available.