BOSTON—A close associate of former Massachusetts House Speaker Salvatore DiMasi pleaded guilty Friday to state lobbying and campaign finance violations but maintained that he did not intentionally break the law.
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Richard Vitale, who in June was acquitted in an unrelated federal corruption case involving DiMasi, is accused of failing to register as a lobbyist for ticket brokers trying to change the state’s anti-scalping laws, and of making campaign contributions to legislators that exceeded the $200 limit for lobbyists. Prosecutors also said Vitale negotiated an illegal “contingency” fee to be paid by the brokers if the legislation they were seeking was passed.
Vitale pleaded guilty to seven misdemeanor charges in Suffolk Superior Court. His consulting firm, WN Advisors, also pleaded guilty to three lobbying violations.
Vitale, 66, will not serve any jail time but was fined the maximum $32,000 and given two years’ probation by Judge Carol Ball. The sentence also prohibits him from lobbying for the next three years. A separate agreement with prosecutors requires him to give up the $60,000 he received from the Massachusetts Association of Ticket Brokers in 2007 and 2008.