The case involving potential lobbying violations by Massachusetts accountant Richard Vitale has been referred to the state’s Attorney General’s office. Vitale, a close friend of Massachusetts House Speaker Salvatore DiMasi, was allegedly paid $60,000 by the Massachusetts Association of Ticket Brokers for either lobbying or strategy efforts in 2007 to help get the state’s anti-ticket scalping law repealed.
According to documents filed with Massachusetts Secretary of State William Galvin, the brokers’ group, led by Ace Ticket owner Jim Holzman, said Vitale was paid as a lobbyist, but Vitale has claimed he was only a strategist. He did not register as a lobbyist with Galvin’s office in 2007, but he did in 2008, but if he indeed acted as a lobbyist he could potentially place DiMasi in hot water for a conflict of interest.
Massachusetts is one of only a handful of states left that has not eased its restrictions on ticket resale, but the House passed a bill about it in the fall of 2007. The proposal is currently languishing in the State Senate.
In an interview with the Boston Globe, Galvin said he referred the case to Attorney General Martha Coakley, in part because not following through on the situation could potentially send a message that “influence peddling and corruption” could take hold among lobbyists in the state.
Galvin had tried to have Vitale testify about the matter at a recent public hearing, but Vitale refused.
(The image accompanying this story is from the Boston Globe)