BOSTON, Sept. 9 (UPI) -- Salvatore DiMasi, former speaker of the Massachusetts House, received an eight-year prison term Friday for helping a software company win state contracts.
A federal judge also ordered DiMasi to pay $65,000 in restitution, The Boston Globe reported. U.S. District Judge Mark Wolf said "corruption has real victims."
"Mr. DiMasi sold out and betrayed many of the people who wrote lovely letters on his behalf," the judge added.
DiMasi, 66, a Democratic lawyer, was elected to the state Legislature in 1979 and became its first Italian-American speaker in 2004. Until his resignation in 2009, he was one of the most powerful politicians in the state.
While he showed little emotion as sentence was passed, DiMasi told Wolf Thursday he was a "broken man."
A co-defendant, Richard McDonough, was given a seven-year sentence and ordered to forfeit $250,000. Wolf said he had not decided whether to allow DiMasi and McDonough to remain free pending appeal.
The judge pointed out DiMasi is the third consecutive speaker in Massachusetts to be convicted of corruption, suggesting a culture in the statehouse that encourages it. Jurors found DiMasi received $65,000 for helping Cognos Inc. win two contracts.