Ex-Speaker to return to Massachusetts after prison release

Former Massachusetts House Speaker Salvatore DiMasi walks out of the Federal courthouse in Boston, Wednesday, June 15, 2011. (AP Photo/Stephan Savoia)

BOSTON (AP) — Former Massachusetts House Speaker Salvatore DiMasi will be returning to Massachusetts after he’s released from prison in North Carolina.

DiMasi is set to be released Tuesday from a federal prison in Butner, North Carolina. His wife, Debbie, is expected to accompany him home to Massachusetts.

DiMasi served five years of an eight-year sentence for public corruption. Last week, a judge approved a request for compassionate release because of DiMasi’s health problems.

DiMasi has been treated for throat and prostate cancer in prison. His cancer is in remission, but his treatments caused a narrowing of his esophagus that creates a risk of choking when he eats or drinks.

The once-powerful Democrat was convicted of steering state contracts to a software firm in exchange for $65,000 funneled through his private law firm.

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