DiMasi Co-Defendant Pleads Guilty

By Adam Reilly

Mar. 8, 2011

Former Massachusetts House Speaker Salvatore DiMasi spoke briefly to reporters as he left federal court after being indicted on federal corruption charges in Boston in June 2009. DiMasi's defense against those charges will be made more complicated by his co-defendant's guilty plea. (AP)

BOSTON — A key co-defendant in the federal corruption case against former Massachusetts House Speaker Sal DiMasi is pleading guilty — and joining forces with the government.
Federal prosecutors say Joseph Lally acted as a crucial intermediary between the Burlington-based software firm Cognos, Speaker DiMasi and two other associates, all of whom allegedly made money when Cognos won two lucrative state contracts.
Until now, Lally has maintained his innocence. But yesterday he pled guilty to eight federal counts and committed to working with the prosecution, which means he could be called to testify against DiMasi and his other co-defendants.
As he left federal court, Lally made a terse statement to the press.
“Today I took responsibility for my actions. I am looking forward to moving forward and putting this matter behind me,” Lally said. “I'm very fortunate to have a loving wife, family and friends — and I will live up to my agreement that I've made with the prosecutors.”

DiMasi's attorney Tom Kiley downplayed the significance of Lally's switch, when a reporter asked if it would hurt DiMasi’s case.
“Well I certainly don't — I certainly hope not. And I don't think it will,” Kiley said.

Despite Kiley’s confidence, those closely watching the case say there's little doubt DiMasi's defense just got a whole lot more complicated. 

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