Massachusetts state prosecutors revealed in court this week that former state Speaker of the House Salvatore DiMasi and his friend, former accountant Richard Vitale, were significantly involved in trying to get the state’s anti-scalping laws repealed two years ago.
According to a report in the Boston Globe, the two men, and state Rep. Thomas Petrolati, worked extensively with the Massachusetts Ticket Brokers Association (MTBA), headed up by Ace Ticket owner Jim Holzman, to have the laws changed to make ticket resale legal. The MTBA is not accused of any wrongdoing, but Vitale is facing charges for allegedly violating state lobbying laws.
The repeal bill passed through the state House, but later died in the state Senate, in part due to the mounting controversy at the time. Holzman allegedly had extraordinary access to the politicians through Vitale, and Holzman was supposedly able to make suggestions on language for the bill that later ended up in the proposal, according the Boston Globe. Vitale has denied any wrongdoing, and his attorney has said that Vitale didn’t work the minimum number of hours to qualify as a lobbyist.
Holzman’s company is arguably the most powerful ticket brokerage in the state, and it has a contract with the Boston Red Sox as the team’s secondary ticket reseller.
Vitale, DiMasi and two others are separately facing a federal indictment on unrelated corruption charges for their alleged roles in trying to get state software contracts steered to a Canadian software company.
(The image accompanying this story is from the Boston Globe)