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Supreme Court declines to hear appeal by DiMasi

Former Mass. House speaker Salvatore DiMasi was sentenced in 2011 to eight years in prison in a corruption case.

AP File

Former Mass. House speaker Salvatore DiMasi was sentenced in 2011 to eight years in prison in a corruption case.

The Supreme Court declined Monday to hear an appeal by Salvatore F. DiMasi, the former Massachusetts House speaker who was sentenced in 2011 to eight years in prison in a corruption case.

DiMasi, 68, and a codefendant had asked the court to reconsider their case based on the court’s recent rulings on bribery cases.

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The Supreme Court’s refusal to hear DiMasi’s case effectively ends his direct appeal options.

His lawyer, Thomas Kiley, said that he was beyond disappointed.

“When a man’s freedom is at stake, disappointing may not a strong enough word,” Kiley said.

He said that DiMasi “will be disappointed in this, too.”

Kiley added, however, “We have to move on from that.”

DiMasi and close friend Richard McDonough, a lobbyist, were convicted in June 2011 of helping a Burlington software company win two state contracts, totaling $17.5 million, in exchange for secret payments to DiMasi.

McDonough, 68, was working for the software company, Cognos. He was sentenced to seven years in prison and is being held at the federal facility at Fort Dix in New Jersey.

DiMasi’s sentence of eight years was believed to be the longest sentence handed out to an elected official by a federal court in Massachusetts.

After being sent to prison, DiMasi was diagnosed with a rare form of cancer in his tongue. His family and lawyers say he received poor medical care and went undiagnosed for months as he was bounced from one prison to another. He is now being held at a federal prison medical facility in Butner, N.C.

With DiMasi’s direct appeals exhausted, Kiley said, “we’ll turn our attention to the conditions of his confinement.”

A spokeswoman for the US attorney’s office in Boston said, “We are pleased with the outcome.”

DiMasi would be able to appeal if he finds new grounds, if he discovered new evidence, for instance, or if he argued that he received inadequate legal representation.

Milton J. Valencia can be reached at milton.valencia@
globe.com.

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