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US opposes DiMasi request to stay in R.I. prison

Prosecutors asked a federal judge in Boston Tuesday to reject former House speaker Salvatore F. DiMasi’s request to stay in a Rhode Island detention center while he appeals his conviction on corruption charges, saying the former lawmaker will burden the US Marshals Service if his request is granted.

Federal prosecutors also wrote in their court filing that when DiMasi requested last week to remain at the Donald W. Wyatt Detention Facility in Central Falls, R.I., to better assist his lawyers with the appeal, he did not indicate any problems communicating through the phone, e-mail, or letters with his legal team at his assigned prison in Kentucky.

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A lawyer for DiMasi could not immediately be reached for comment Tuesday night.

The former Beacon Hill power broker, who began serving an eight-year prison sentence in November at the Federal Medical Center in Lexington, Ky., was transferred to Wyatt last month so he could testify before a federal grand jury in Worcester, people with direct knowledge of DiMasi’s travels have told the Globe. The grand jury is looking into corruption allegations at the state Probation Department.

DiMasi’s lawyers said last week that his lead attorney, Thomas R. Kiley, could not travel to Kentucky to meet with him when he reported there, but the two have met regularly at Wyatt.

Prosecutors said Tuesday that Wyatt cannot meet the specialized medical needs of DiMasi, who has previously suffered a heart attack. The Kentucky prison has that capacity, according to prosecutors.

The longer DiMasi stays at Wyatt in Rhode Island, authorities said, the greater the odds that the Marshals Service will incur added costs to ensure that he receives proper care.

Travis Andersen can be reached at tandersen@globe.com. Follow him on Twitter @TAGlobe.
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