Former Speaker of the House Salvatore DiMasi, who was born in and represented the North End, will ask a federal appeals court today to overturn his 2011 conviction of political corruption.
A jury found that DiMasi used his power when he was Speaker of the House to help a Burlington software company win state contracts in exchange for payments made to his former law partner.
The Boston Globe reports today that DiMasi’s case was one of the first to go to trial following the Supreme Court decision known as Skilling v United States, which required prosecutors to prove among other things a more direct link between a public official and a briber.
DiMasi is arguing in his appeal that the prosecutors in his case did not prove such a link.
DiMasi was a member of the Massachusetts House of Representatives from the 3rd Suffolk District from January 1979 to January 27, 2009, when he resigned ahead of the federal indictment on which he was convicted. DiMasi was succeeded by Aaron Michlewitz, his Constituent Services Director.
DiMasi has strong ties to the North End. When he served as a Suffolk County Assistant District Attorney from 1974 to 1976, he co-founded the North End Neighborhood Task Force to address zoning, gentrification and crime in the neighborhood.