MA: DiMasi may have pension suspended

June 17, 2011

By Milton J. Valencia, Boston Globe

Massachusetts Treasurer Steven Grossman said yesterday that he will ask the State Board of Retirement to suspend the pension of Salvatore F. DiMasi, following the former House speaker’s conviction Wednesday on federal corruption charges.

Grossman, whose office oversees state pensions, said he will ask the board, which meets next on June 30, to suspend the $5,000-a-month payments and to seek forfeiture of DiMasi’s pension. As treasurer, Grossman chairs the Retirement Board.

“Because Mr. DiMasi has been convicted of a crime related to his office, I believe we should suspend his pension benefits while we proceed with forfeiture proceedings,’’ Grossman said.

Also yesterday, Constance Vecchione, bar counsel for the Board of Bar Overseers, said her office is considering barring DiMasi from practicing law.

DiMasi, 65, was convicted Wednesday of seven counts of public corruption, including honest services fraud and extortion. He is to be sentenced in August.

A codefendant, Richard McDonough, was also convicted.

DiMasi resigned from public office in January 2009. He was indicted in June of that year.

In 2010, an appeals judge overruled the Board of Retirement’s decision to suspend DiMasi’s pension payments pending the criminal case. The treasurer at the time, Timothy Cahill, said the suspension was appropriate, given the nature of the accusation.

Thomas Kiley, an attorney for DiMasi, said yesterday that DiMasi’s case has not been finalized because he has not been sentenced. He also said DiMasi plans to appeal the conviction. “There’s been no final conviction,’’ Kiley said. “Final means final.’’

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