BOSTON (SHNS) – The Supreme Judicial Court on Thursday agreed to postpone oral arguments in the case involving former Speaker Sal DiMasi’s registration as a lobbyist in Massachusetts, further delaying resolution to a case that has been going on for two years.
DiMasi registered as a lobbyist in December after a Superior Court judge last summer overturned Secretary of State William Galvin’s denial of DiMasi’s registration based on his convictions in federal court on corruption and extortion charges.
The judge agreed with DiMasi’s argument that the law banning convicted felons from lobbying in Massachusetts pertained only to convictions for state crimes, not federal. Galvin appealed Judge Robert Gordon’s decision to the Appeals Court, but the Supreme Judicial Court exercised its authority to hear the case directly.
A Galvin spokeswoman told the News Service Thursday that the SJC had granted DiMasi’s request to postpone oral arguments that had been scheduled for next Wednesday due to the health of his attorney. DiMasi had been represented by Meredith Fierro of Cosgrove, Eisenberg and Kiley.
Galvin asked that the top court proceed without oral arguments based on previous court filings, but was denied. The secretary has requested arguments be rescheduled as soon as possible, perhaps in May.
DiMasi was initially denied his request to register as a lobbyist in March 2019, less than three years after he was released from federal prison early due to declining health from a cancer diagnosis. DiMasi’s health has since improved and he has said he thinks he deserves a “second chance to be a contributing citizen so that I can benefit the citizens of Massachusetts.”
DiMasi registered in December, according to state records, and has listed the Association of Criminal Defense Attorneys and the Massachusetts Housing and Shelter Alliance as clients.