making local government more ethical

Laundering Money Through Law Firms

According to an article in today's Boston Globe, former Massachusetts Speaker of the House Sal DiMasi was indicted by a federal grand jury on a variety of public corruption charges (see my blog posts on DiMasi's legislative immunity defense, and another on Massachusetts' ethics environment).

Of particular value for local government ethics is the way he is alleged to have obtained his money: it was given, in monthly payments, to his law partner, as if in return for legal services. This is one thing to watch for when lawyers are in local government. They often say that their law firms have nothing to do with their government work, but they can be a handy way of laundering money.