Richard Vitale, the accountant and friend of Massachusetts Speaker of the House Salvatore DiMasi, was indicted by a grand jury Thursday for allegedly using undue influence to lobby on behalf of Massachusetts ticket brokers.
The case has swirled around DiMasi and Vitale for about a year, finally producing the 10-count indictment accusing Vitale of illegal lobbying activity. He allegedly accepted about $60,000 to lobby on behalf of the brokers, who were trying to get legislation passed that would make ticket resale unrestricted in the state.
In and of itself, the lobbying for the change in legislation was not wrong, but it was how Vitale allegedly went about it, including not properly registering as a lobbyist. The legislation remains in limbo, but ticket brokers continue to thrive in the state, especially in and around Boston.
“Failure to comply with the lobbying laws can result in a corruption of the system,” Massachusetts Attorney General Martha Coakley told the Boston Globe newspaper.
Vitale, who called himself a “strategist” and not a lobbyist, has maintained he did nothing wrong during the ordeal.
(The image accompanying this story is from the Boston Globe)