Sal DiMasi trial: Patrick will tell of pol’s influence
In opening statements delivered Thursday in federal court, prosecutors revealed that the public will hear from Gov. Deval Patrick about the influence former House speaker Sal DiMasi imposed on the newly elected governor.
“Some of the most compelling evidence you will hear … will come from Gov. Deval Patrick himself,” said Assistant U.S. Attorney Theodore Merritt.
Merritt told jurors Patrick would talk about the constant reminders DiMasi gave him about the software contract in question and how at a leadership breakfast meeting DiMasi said the contract was one of two things most important to him.
The revelations came as the corruption trial of DiMasi and his co-defendants began.
Merritt also said that DiMasi became involved in the kickback and bribe scheme to get money he “sorely needed to keep up with his extravagant living expenses.”
DiMasi carried about $50,000 in credit-card debt, prosecutors said.
However, in his loud and forceful opening statement, William Cintolo, DiMasi’s attorney, urged jurors to keep their minds open.
“Not one word he said is evidence in this case,” Cintolo said.
Cintolo told the jurors they would not see or hear any evidence during the trial that would show DiMasi explicitly said he would use his power to pass a software contract in exchange for cash.
Just try to keep up
Merritt warned the jurors that they may at times become bored by the case because of its legislative and complex nature. In an attempt to ease the confusion of the jurors, prosecutors offered them a PowerPoint of the four men involved in the scheme and how they were all connected.