Thursday, April 16, 2009

DeLeo and company go before Grand Jury

As we first wrote about this months ago, the beginning stages of fact finding are happening and it's my humble opinion that there will be some revelations about DiMasi and DeLeo's connections in trying to influence a contract with the State. Look for this to take out a Rep or two and perhaps seal the fate of DiMasi and DeLeo at the same time.

House Speaker Robert A. DeLeo's chief of staff and a state representative with close ties to former speaker Salvatore F. DiMasi testified this week before a federal grand jury investigating the awarding of two multimillion-dollar state contracts to the software company Cognos, several officials confirmed yesterday.

James Eisenberg, who has served as DeLeo's chief of staff since the speaker chaired the House Ways and Means Committee, appeared before the grand jury on Tuesday after being subpoenaed by federal authorities. According to DeLeo spokesman Seth Gitell, Eisenberg was told by his lawyers that he is not a target of the probe and was subpoenaed primarily to produce records from the Ways and Means Committee.

Representative Lida Harkins, the assistant majority leader under DiMasi, also appeared before the grand jury, according to officials who did not want to be identified because the grand jury's proceedings are confidential.

Harkins, who represents Needham, declined to comment yesterday. Her name was mentioned in a state education department e-mail, obtained by the Globe last fall, which indicated she had contacted the department about a Cognos contract on DiMasi's behalf .