Salvatore Dimasi Scheme Leads to Ethics Review

Salvatore DiMasi, the former House Speaker who is on trial for federal corruption, will see his trial’s last witness called by Wednesday, coming as a surprise announcement.

Former Democratic House Speaker Salvatore DiMasi’s recent federal conviction on corruption charges has led Republican lawmakers in the Massachusetts House of Representatives to undergo a complete reworking of their ethics code.

According Boston.com, the review will comprise the first comprehensive update of the Massachusetts House “Code of Ethical Conduct” in 25 years. The changes will be made public at a press conference Wednesday afternoon.

The movement is being helmed by House Minority Leader Brad Jones of North Reading and Republican Rep. Dan Winslow of Norfolk. The two legislators say the changes are based on practices they observed in dozens of other state legislatures, as well as recommendations from the National Conference of State Legislatures (NCSL).

Joes and Winslow told Boston.com they hoped the measures would work to restore public faith in the Massachusetts House after the recent fallout. They said the “best way to do that is to ensure each House member and their staff is held to the highest ethical standard.”

DiMasi was charged with seven of nine counts of corruption for helping a software company win multimillion-dollar state contracts in exchange for kickbacks. The verdict came earlier in the month, after more than 10 hours of deliberations. One of Dimasi's lobbyists is now being considered part of the crime as well.

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