By Andy Metzger
STATE HOUSE NEWS SERVICE
BOSTON -- Back in court Monday morning, federal prosecutors gave voice to their contention that Speaker Robert DeLeo was part of the conspiracy to commit racketeering, for which three former probation officials are facing federal charges.
"It's your argument that Chairman DeLeo and then Speaker DeLeo is part of that conspiracy?" Judge William Young asked in a hearing Monday morning.
"Yes," prosecutor Fred Wyshak said.
No officials other than the three former probation department managers have been charged with crimes in the case, where closing arguments are planned for Tuesday.
DeLeo last week strongly denied any wrongdoing and asserted prosecutors were making "inaccurate and inflammatory" statements about him and said there had never been a quid pro quo for "any legislative action." Prosecutors allege jobs were given to the politically connected in exchange for favorable treatment for the probation department on Beacon Hill and to assist DeLeo in his rise to power.
Leonard Mirasolo, who was an aide to DeLeo and the father of DeLeo's godson who won promotions in the probation department, is also a co-conspirator, Wyshak said.
In a trial that played out over ten weeks, prosecutors alleged that former Probation Commissioner John O'Brien gave electronic monitoring jobs to DeLeo to hand out to House members to help his bid for speaker, a bribery conspiracy.
"I'm prepared to think that voting for the speakership is an official act," said Young, who said he can also see how the ability to select someone for a job is a "thing of value."
DeLeo has strenuously denied any jobs-for-votes arrangement.
"This is a fiction created after the fact, probably from the losing party in the speaker's race to tar DeLeo," argued O'Brien's attorney William Fick, who said only Ed Ryan, a former legislative liaison, has testified about the alleged conspiracy involving DeLeo.
Prosecutors once planned to call as a witness Rep. John Rogers of Norwood, who DeLeo defeated in a 2008-2009 battle for the top House post, but they never called him to the stand.