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Thread: Ex Mass. House speaker indicted

  1. #1
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    Ex Mass. House speaker indicted

    [QUOTE][B]Ex Mass. House speaker indicted

    By DENISE LAVOIE, Associated Press Writer
    2 hours, 42 minutes ago
    [/B]


    BOSTON - A former Massachusetts House speaker accused of lying during his testimony in a voting rights lawsuit plans to plead guilty Friday to obstruction of justice, a person familiar with the agreement said Thursday.

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    The lawsuit had claimed that a 2001 state law that redrew legislative district boundaries discriminated against minorities in Boston while protecting incumbents, including the now-former House speaker, Thomas Finneran. A federal court panel eventually tossed out the legislative map, finding it "sacrificed racial fairness."

    Finneran's trial on perjury and obstruction charges had been scheduled to start Jan. 16.

    The former speaker said Wednesday that discussions were ongoing, but he wouldn't confirm a plea deal, and Finneran attorney Richard Egbert declined to comment Thursday. A change-of-plea hearing was listed on Friday's U.S. District Court docket, though.

    Under the deal, Finneran won't face prison time, and federal prosecutors will drop the three perjury counts, the person familiar with the agreement told The Associated Press. He will serve probation, pay a fine and agree not to seek political office for five years.

    Finneran, 56, has agreed to admit to some, but not all, of the allegations in the obstruction charge, which accuses him of obstructing justice by lying during the trial and in a deposition, according to the person, who asked not to be identified because the deal has not yet been finalized in court.

    Separately, Finneran still faces a possible suspension of his law license or disbarment by the state Board of Bar Overseers.

    During his eight years as speaker, Finneran was considered the state's most powerful lawmaker. Known for his authoritarian style, he was once dubbed "King Tom" for pushing through a rules change that eliminated term limits for House speakers.

    He resigned as speaker in September 2004 and was indicted nine months later on charges that he lied under oath.

    In testimony related to the voting rights lawsuit, Finneran had said that he had no role in drafting the new legislative map, except for appointing members of a redistricting committee, and that he did not see the redistricting plan until after the committee distributed it to the full House.

    The indictment cites several meetings Finneran conducted before the formal release of the redistricting map, including one in which he reviewed a redistricting plan for each district in the state, including his own.

    Finneran did not return several calls Thursday to his home and office at the Massachusetts Biotechnology Council where he is president. In a statement issued Thursday, the council said it was "premature and inappropriate" to comment.

    U.S. attorney's spokeswoman Christina DiIorio-Sterling declined to comment Thursday.

    Finneran had previously vehemently denied the charges and suggested the case against him was politically motivated, referring to the "questionable motives and machinations of the U.S. attorney's office."

    "I'm not going to lose any sleep over it," he told reporters the day the indictment was handed down.

    Egbert has said Finneran never claimed he was totally uninvolved in the redistricting process and that he acknowledged in his testimony having about "half a dozen" conversations with leaders of the redistricting committee. Under state law and House rules, Finneran was free to help draft the legislative map before it was released.

    The state Board of Bar Overseers, which investigates complaints against lawyers, has been awaiting the outcome of the criminal case against Finneran before considering disciplinary action.

    "Usually, a felony conviction of this type of crime would either result in disbarment or a lengthy suspension, absent mitigating circumstances," said Constance Vecchione, acting bar counsel for the board.

    ___

    Associated Press Writers David Weber and Steve LeBlanc contributed to this report.
    [/QUOTE]

    [url]http://news.yahoo.com/s/ap/20070104/ap_on_re_us/ex_speaker_indicted_2[/url]


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    Can anyone tell what party Finneran represents, cause the article doesn't say from what I can see...

    here's a hint, were he Republican the story would say "Republican Finneran" every time they mention his name.....

    ethics only matter when a Republican is involved per the ba$tard liberal media as is the case with Finneran, conyers, et al.....

  2. #2
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    "House Speaker Thomas M. Finneran, a Democrat from Boston, represents the 12th Suffolk District" -from his website

    You hit the nail on the head Come Back!

  3. #3
    You have to read the article to see what party this guy is from. Stop crying about the poor GOP.


    [B]Weldon, in reversal, to repay $23G[/B]

    By BOB WARNER
    [email]warnerb@phillynews.com[/email] 215-854-5885

    Outgoing U.S. Rep. Curt Weldon has agreed to repay more than $23,000 in travel expenses for a 2003 trip he took with several family members, according to a brief statement issued yesterday by ranking leaders of the House ethics committee.

    The statement left unclear who had paid for the trip, where the Weldon clan had traveled or how the family had racked up such hefty expenses.

    But it appeared to clarify two issues that were unsettled in November, when suburban voters went to the polls to decide whether Weldon deserved an 11th term in Congress.

    First, Weldon was apparently misleading voters when he repeatedly claimed that the ethics committee had thoroughly investigated his activities and decided not to take any action against him.

    And second, the ethics committee protected Weldon by failing to issue any public statements about the Republican congressman until yesterday - two months after the election and the last day that the GOP controlled the House agenda.

    Weldon lost the election to Democrat Joseph Sestak, a former Navy admiral scheduled to be sworn into office today.

    Throughout last year's campaign, Weldon had a pat answer for reporters who questioned why he had gone to bat for wealthy foreign clients of his daughter's public-relations firm.

    After the Los Angeles Times broke the story in early 2004, Weldon claimed he'd provided the ethics committee with extensive information, and the committee had completed an investigation without any action against him.

    In October, after the FBI raided the homes and business of his daughter, Karen Weldon, and a GOP power broker, Charles P. Sexton Jr., Weldon claimed he'd received a letter from the ethics panel, supposedly exonerating him of any improper activity to help his daughter's clients.

    But Weldon refused to provide reporters with copies of the letter, and staffers at the Republican-led ethics committee - formally the Committee on Standards of Official Conduct - failed to return repeated calls from the Daily News.

    Yesterday, Rep. Doc Hastings, the Oregon Republican who heads the ethics panel, and Rep. Howard L. Berman of California, its ranking Democrat, disclosed that sometime in mid-2006 they'd decided that several of Weldon's family members had accepted free travel, in violation of House rules. The two lawmakers told Weldon he'd have to repay more than $23,000 in travel expenses to unidentified "trip sponsors."

    The statement was short on details, referring simply to "a trip taken by Rep. Curt Weldon and a number of his family members in January 2003."

    According to filings cited by the Washington Post, Weldon had previously listed three trips that month - one to Russia, to visit facilities owned by Saratov Aviation; another to Belgrade, Yugoslavia; and a third to Jacksonville, Fla., U.S. headquarters for Itera International Energy Co. Both Saratov and Itera became clients of Solutions Worldwide Inc., the firm owned by Karen Weldon and Sexton.

    Calls made to Weldon's attorney and the House ethics panel for more information on Weldon's family travel and an explanation for the timing of yesterday's statement were not returned.

    Meanwhile, the incoming speaker of the House, California Democrat Nancy Pelosi, has promised to name a committee to explore whether the House needs some kind of "outside ethics enforcement."






    --------------------------------------------------------------------------------

    2007 Philadelphia Daily News and wire service sources. All Rights Reserved.
    [url]http://www.philly.com[/url]






    [url]http://www.philly.com/mld/philly/news/16379719.htm[/url]

  4. #4
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    [QUOTE=cr726]You have to read the article to see what party this guy is from. Stop crying about the poor GOP.

    You are missing the point of the post-CBNY is just giving a concrete example of the liberal bias in the mainstream media. The article you posted clearly identifies Weldon as a Republican. The Finnerann article does not identify a party affiliation. Not debating if Weldon or Finnerann was right or wrong, just curious why one was identified by party affiliation and one was not.

  5. #5
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    [QUOTE=HDCentStOhio][QUOTE=cr726]You have to read the article to see what party this guy is from. Stop crying about the poor GOP.

    You are missing the point of the post-CBNY is just giving a concrete example of the liberal bias in the mainstream media. The article you posted clearly identifies Weldon as a Republican. The Finnerann article does not identify a party affiliation. Not debating if Weldon or Finnerann was right or wrong, just curious why one was identified by party affiliation and one was not.[/QUOTE]

    you're trying to reason with the brain dead-

    yet in his stupidity he further proves my point about the liberal bias....compare the number of times they make reference to Weldon being a Republican (2-3) as opposed to the number of times they make reference to Finneran being a dim (0)...

  6. #6
    I am not missing the point. If you read the Weldon article the circumstances of what happend with him is even more disturbing.

    Weldon was protected by the GOP for his election. Weldon blatantly lied during the election.

    I posted an article about Weldon months ago about this type of behavior and CBTNY told me it was a non-issue.





    [QUOTE=HDCentStOhio][QUOTE=cr726]You have to read the article to see what party this guy is from. Stop crying about the poor GOP.

    You are missing the point of the post-CBNY is just giving a concrete example of the liberal bias in the mainstream media. The article you posted clearly identifies Weldon as a Republican. The Finnerann article does not identify a party affiliation. Not debating if Weldon or Finnerann was right or wrong, just curious why one was identified by party affiliation and one was not.[/QUOTE]

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