DiMasi v. Secretary of the CommonwealthAnnotate this Case
In this case involving Salvatore F. DiMasi's attempt to register as a lobbyist with the Secretary of the Commonwealth, the Supreme Judicial Court held that Mass. Gen. Laws ch. 3, 45 (m) ("the disqualification provision") limits automatic disqualification to individuals who have been convicted of a felony set forth in Mass. Gen. Laws ch. 3, 55 or 268A.
In 2011, DiMasi was convicted of seven federal felonies arising from his sale of political favors while serving as Speaker of the Massachusetts House of Representatives. In 2019, after he was released from prison, DiMasi filed his application to register as a lobbyist. The Secretary denied the application, citing the disqualification provision. The Secretary determined that, even though DiMasi was convicted of federal offenses, his application for registration as a lobbyist must be rejected because the conduct underlying his convictions would have violated Mass. Gen. Laws ch. 3 or 268A. Thereafter, DiMasi brought this lawsuit. The Supreme Judicial Court held in favor of DiMasi, holding that Mass. Gen. Laws ch. 3, 45(m) does not afford the Secretary discretion to consider what other offenses might require automatic disqualification even if the underlying criminal conduct could support a felony conviction pursuant to Mass. Gen. Laws ch. 3, 55 or 268A.