Will He Talk or Not?

Former Speaker of the House Sal DiMasi.

Ex-speaker Sal DiMasi is in Rhode Island.

He’s been on a tour that began in Kentucky, where he’s been serving out his sentence in a lock-up there. From Kentucky he was driven by bus in handcuffs and chains to Brooklyn and then from Brooklyn to Rhode Island, where he very likely testified before a Federal Grand Jury exploring corruption in Massachusetts.

If you’ve ever been cross country, it’s a long bus ride from Kentucky to Rhode Island. During such a ride one gets a lot of time to think – and I suspect Sal has been thinking.

Mainly, he’s been going over and over in his mind his predicament.

Eight years is the time he is expected to do behind bars.

In the life and times of any of us, eight years is a long time to be put away in prison. Five years would be long enough for anyone. Even three years would be agonizing. And on and on.

Sal, I believe, has been thinking about how he might best mitigate his sentence. He’d like to get out of prison as soon as possible – yesterday if it was possible. I am sure of this.

At 67, he wants out.

The difficulty is that the Feds apparently want him to talk and have likely promised him if he talks that his sentence could be shortened. Of course, this would depend on what new information he could provide that would allow this quid pro quo from the Feds.

The Feds want information about the ongoing Probation Department investigation that is destined to ensnare at least a dozen State House officials.

Through Sal, they’d hope to inveigle some big names.

After all, the entire Probation Department affair of giving jobs to the politically connected in return for contributions came during Sal’s time primarily but had been going on for many years before.

The Feds might cut as much as five years off his sentence for good information, indictable information. They might also require him to admit his guilt in his own sad affair.

If he handed the Feds a really big fish, he might get off entirely.

Sal was always a stand-up guy. He was never one to talk about others secrets.

That was then. This is now.

His personal situation is so bad that I believe he will do what human nature would require nearly all of us to do at this point if we were wearing his shoes and shackles.

If he hasn’t already talked, he is going to talk.

He will tell whatever he knows. He has no reason not to.

He is a man alone living in hell. He wants out.

He’ll says whatever he has to say and do whatever he must do to make that happen.

At this point, he doesn’t owe anyone his allegiance or his silence.

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