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Key Witness Takes Stand In DiMasi Trial

BOSTON (AP) -- A key figure in the federal corruption trial of former Massachusetts House Speaker Salvatore DiMasi has taken the stand.

Joseph Lally, a former software salesman who sought lucrative business with the state, testified Wednesday that he agreed to set up what he knew to be a "sham contract" for a law associate of DiMasi.

He said lobbyist Richard McDonough, who also is charged in the case, told him the contract was for the purpose of funneling money to DiMasi.

Prosecutors say DiMasi, McDonough and Richard Vitale, an accountant and close friend of the speaker, plotted to steer two lucrative state software contracts to Lally's firm in exchange for payments.

DiMasi allegedly pocketed about $65,000.

Lally pleaded guilty before the trial started, and could receive a lighter prison sentence in exchange for his testimony.

(Copyright 2011 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)

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