On September 8, the North End’s Sal DiMasi will stand in a Federal Courtroom and have a sentence pronounced upon him. It will be, by a wide margin the worst moment of his life. And for those of us who consider him a friend and a good guy, it is a horrible moment coming that is quite impossible to comprehend.
If you are Sal DiMasi right now, you are going through a time in your life you never thought in one-million years could happen.
You are Sal DiMasi and you are facing jail instead of being the speaker of the House or one of the most important men in Massachusetts.
You are facing, as the government has told us, 10-15 years in prison following the work of a Federal jury.
The summer of 2011 is when Sal DiMasi lost everything he worked for in a lifetime spent moving up the power ladder in a state where politics is king.
Somewhere, somehow, unbeknownst to all of us but him, he went wrong. He took a turn in the road he had never gone down and he got into a major wreck.
That’s how it goes when you travel down a dangerous path.
That being said, now Sal is heading to the legal people who determine whether or not he will keep his right to practice as a lawyer in the state of Massachusetts.
Frankly, I know this is done as a matter of protocol and that to do nothing to defend yourself is bad practice but in his case, at this late moment, facing 10-15 years in a federal prison, Sal ought to be spending more time preparing for his statement to the court before sentencing than bidding to save his right to practice law.
Sal should be thinking as we would all be thinking facing 10-15 years in prison.
How do I get out of this? How do I avoid what appears inevitable?
There are several ways – and his attorney won’t tell him to do as I suggest.
First, I’d sit down at my desk and apologize to the judge about to sentence him. I would admit everything I need to admit to and write everything, to a word, that must be said to stave off the inevitable.
I would do this privately and would reveal not a word to anyone that I have done this.
When September 8 comes, I’d ask to be heard in court – if this is possible – in order to make an admission of guilt and to emphasize that the jury had made the right decision.
Most of all, above everything else, I’d attempt to show contrition in the face of overwhelming evidence that revealed I am a guilty man.
Going on professing my innocence will only get me more time, I believe.
So it is up to Sal to come clean on what he did and apologize to everyone down the long line of those he has disappointed and accept the mercy of the court and even of the people of this state.
It is either that or contend that he is an innocent man and take the full measure of his punishment and say good-by to the remainder of his active life on this earth.
It is decision time for Sal.