It was a bad day for the North End last week when Sal DiMasi was convicted of seven out of nine counts in Federal Court.
A Jury of his peers decided he is guilty and there really isn’t very much he can do about it.
Of course, he can appeal and he will appeal but the damage has already been done. For Sal, it was a crushing blow, the ultimate dagger in the heart.
The North End and all the state’s power circles were abuzz with fall-out talk about Sal.
Everyone was speculating – how did he take it? How will he adjust? Can he come to terms with the next decade or so which he is likely to spend behind bars?
Most people agreed, the future is grim for Sal. He knows it. We’ve talked with people who have tried to console him during this time of descending darkness.
They all said he’s a bit out of it and in that place where he’s coming to terms with this defeat. All of us can understand this. All of us can put ourselves where he is – with the walls and eiling closing in on him with each passing day one less day of freedom he is going to own.
While we are all disappointed for Sal for he was our friend and an advocate for this neighborhood, we are also, at the same time, bitterly disappointed that Sal turned out to be someone who did things we never expected from one of our own.
How could he do what he did? Didn’t he think he’d get caught?
And when all was said and done and he left Federal court after the decision, why were there no exhortations about his innocence.
“I am innocent. I never did these things. The jury got it wrong. I am an innocent man!” is what we would like to have heard.
Instead, we got the political babble and political speak that Sal became so adept at over the years.
“I’ve never done anything wrong for my constituents,” is basically what he said.
There wasn’t much heart or soul in that comment. There was no protestation about being found guilty when he is an innocent man.
In the end, which came in that Federal Courtroom last week, Sal let everyone down.
He let the people from the North End down who loved him, who were loyal to him and who believed in him.
He lost touch with the place he grew up in and with his values as a younger man on the rise.
Mainly, he let himself down and his family and his closest loyal supporters.
Sal hasn’t hit rock bottom yet.
That day comes in September when he will be sentenced in Federal Court.
It is likely he will be taken away following sentencing.
For Sal, it will be like going into the heart of darkness.
The shame of it all is that it didn’t have to end this way.
But it has and it will and it is a lesson to us all about how we ought to be conducting the peoples’ business.