Now that the U.S. Attorney's Office has said the release of House of Representatives' legal billing records would not jeopardize the government's corruption case against former speaker Sal DiMasi, one Waltham legislator hopes the spending details will be disclosed.
Now that the U.S. Attorney's Office decided the release of House of Representatives' legal billing records would not jeopardize the government's corruption case against former speaker Sal DiMasi, one Waltham legislator hopes the spending details will be disclosed.
"I hope (House Speaker Robert DeLeo) does the right thing and releases the information," state Rep. Thomas Stanley, D-Waltham, said Tuesday.
Stanley and House members Lida Harkins, D-Needham, Matt Patrick, D-Falmouth, and Bill Greene, D-Billerica, earlier this month urged the House to release the information.
Following a report that $378,000 of House funds had been spent on legal bills in connection with the DiMasi probe, the reps attempted to block business as a way to force the House to accede to their demand.
They wanted members to authorize Gov. Deval Patrick to appoint an outside firm to produce an itemized report on the House spending.
The four lawmakers then sent a letter to U.S. Attorney Carmen Ortiz's office asking whether the release of the financial information would jeopardize the DiMasi investigation.
In a letter before Christmas, Ortiz's public corruption unit chief Brian Kelly told the House members that "we foresee no adverse consequences" if the billing records were made public.
With that response, Stanley again tried to raise the issue during Monday's House session, but said he was ignored and the chamber was gaveled into recess.
"The reason why I did it, I was disappointed by the speaker's non-response to the U.S. Attorney's letter," he said.
A deal seemed to be brokered when, on Dec. 15, DeLeo said he would choose an attorney to review the House's billing records.
Stanley balked at the proposal because he said the review would not be truly independent if DeLeo picked the lawyer.
Stanley said Tuesday he would continue to raise the issue in hopes that the spending details will be released.
"I'm speaking out and doing what I am to raise my concerns and the concerns of the public," Stanley said.
Daily News Tribune writer Richard Conn can be reached at 781-398-8004 or firstname.lastname@example.org.