- Associated Press - Saturday, January 11, 2020

BOSTON (AP) - Former Massachusetts House Speaker Salvatore DiMasi has sued Secretary of State William Galvin as part of his efforts to register as a Beacon Hill lobbyist.

The Boston Globe reports that DiMasi filed the lawsuit Friday in Suffolk Superior Court seeking to reverse Galvin’s decision last year barring him from registering after being convicted of federal corruption charges.

A hearing officer upheld Galvin’s decision in December. DiMasi and Galvin are both Democrats.

The 74-year-old DiMasi was granted compassionate release in 2016 after serving five years of an eight-year sentence.

The state Lobbyist Division, overseen by Galvin, denied DiMasi’s application in March, citing his conviction, which included extortion charges.

At a June hearing DiMasi’s attorney argued the state law requiring Galvin’s office to automatically disqualify the lobbyist registration of anyone convicted of a felony for violating the state’s ethics and lobbying laws should not apply to DiMasi since DiMasi was instead convicted on federal charges.

The Globe reported that in his appeal, DiMasi argues Galvin violated his constitutional rights by automatically disqualifying him.

DiMasi was charged with using his clout as speaker to steer lucrative state contracts to a software company in exchange for $65,000 in payments funneled through DiMasi’s outside law firm.

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