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Former Mass. speaker indicted

BOSTON, June 3 (UPI) -- The former speaker of the Massachusetts House of Representatives has been charged in a federal corruption case.

Salvatore DiMasi, who resigned in January, and three associates, including his former campaign treasurer and accountant, appeared Tuesday in federal court in Boston, The Boston Globe reported. They pleaded not guilty to the charges and were released on $10,000 bail each.

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A federal indictment charges that DiMasi and his co-defendants received large payments for ensuring that Cognos ULC, a software company, received two state contracts. One of those charged was Joseph Lally, a former Cognos sales manager, while Richard McDonough was a lobbyist for the company and Richard Vitale was DiMasi's accountant as well as his campaign treasurer.

DiMasi was allegedly paid $57,000 for his part in the scheme.

Steven Topazio, a former law associate of DiMasi, who allegedly helped funnel money to the speaker, was not charged. The Globe said he appears to be cooperating with federal investigators.

"Every decision I ever made as speaker or state representative was always made in the best interests of my constituents and of the people of the Commonwealth of Massachusetts," DiMasi said in a statement after the hearing.

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