Richard Vitale, the Massachusetts accountant and close friend to the state’s House Speaker Salvatore DiMasi, has been called to testify at a public hearing Thursday, June 5, about his lobbying efforts on behalf of Massachusetts ticket brokers. Whether Vitale will show up, however, was still unknown earlier today.
According to the Boston Globe, Secretary of State William Galvin called on Vitale to testify to clear up conflicting reports concerning his lobbying because Vitale has claimed he was hired as a strategist, not a lobbyist. The Massachusetts Association of Ticket Brokers, which is led by Ace Ticket owner Jim Holzman, claims it paid Vitale $60,000 in 2007 to lobby on the group’s behalf to persuade legislators to pass a law that would repeal the state’s anti-scalping regulations.
The state House of Representatives passed the repeal bill in the fall of 2007, but it remains in limbo in the state Senate.
Vitale, however, has not yet confirmed his participation in Thursday hearing. A spokesperson for Secretary of State Galvin did not return a message seeking comment. If Vitale refuses to testify, Galvin may refer the matter to the state’s Attorney General’s office, which could lead to charges being filed, according to the Globe, because he may have violated state ethics laws. If that’s the case, he may drag down DiMasi on conflict of interest grounds.
(The image accompanying this story is from the Boston Globe)