Metro

Judge ends home confinement for ex-speaker Salvatore DiMasi

Former House Speaker Sal DiMasi was released from prison in November. He’s shown after arriving at Logan Airport.
Keith Bedford/Globe Staff/File
Former House Speaker Sal DiMasi was released from prison in November. He’s shown after arriving at Logan Airport.

Former House Speaker Salvatore DiMasi is now free to move about Massachusetts without limit.

US District Court Senior Judge Mark Wolf Monday ended home detention for the former speaker who was convicted in 2011 of corruption charges. DiMasi was released from prison early because of extensive health problems.

While imprisoned, DiMasi was diagnosed with two cancers, including cancer on his tongue, which made eating and swallowing difficult, the Globe has reported.

Advertisement

Wolf also ended the requirement that a family member be on hand when DiMasi eats, a mandate he imposed because DiMasi’s lawyers had argued he could not get proper medical care in prison, where he needed a liquid diet due to throat cancer.

Get Fast Forward in your inbox:
Forget yesterday's news. Get what you need today in this early-morning email.
Thank you for signing up! Sign up for more newsletters here

In an eight-page order made public Monday, Wolf noted that DiMasi’s oncologist at the Dana-Farber Cancer Institute in Boston notified the court last week that his health has improved to the point where he can safely eat and drink without supervision.

“The Special Condition requiring six-months home detention shall end on May 22, 2017,’’ Wolf wrote. “The Special Condition requiring that DiMasi be monitored by a member of his family, or a professional health aide, whenever he eats or drinks is REMOVED.”

In March, Wolf refused to end home confinement early.

DiMasi was convicted in 2011 of taking $65,000 in kickbacks in exchange for using the power of his office to help a Burlington software company win $17.5 million in state contracts. He was sentenced to eight years in prison and was set to be released in 2018, until Wolf approved compassionate release last fall.

John R. Ellement can be reached at ellement@globe.com. Follow him on Twitter @JREbosglobe.