…Finneran’s guilty plea stems from his time in the Legislature. In a 2003 lawsuit over a plan to redraw voting districts, he testified that he had never seen the plan before it was released publicly; in 2005 he was indicted on three counts of perjury and one of obstruction of justice for his testimony. On Friday he pleaded guilty to obstruction of justice in exchange for the perjury charges being dropped. He also paid a $25,000 fine.
Last night, after it became clear Finneran would not survive as president, elegiac statements poured in from local political figures, lauding Finneran for his years in the State House and for raising the profile of the state’s biotechnology industry on Capitol Hill and Beacon Hill.
Representative Edward J. Markey , Democrat of Malden, said Finneran “deserves our thanks for his long history of outstanding service.” Salvatore F. DiMasi , who succeeded Finneran as House speaker, called Finneran a “successful spokesman” and “very good friend.” State Senate president Robert E. Travaglini issued a similar statement…
In his two years as president, Finneran used his State House connections to deliver for the specialized, cash-intensive biotechnology industry. He helped quash efforts in the State House to control pharmaceutical prices. His supporters also point to last summer’s economic-stimulus bill, which included more than $70 million earmarked for biotechnology research and small high-technology businesses.
But Finneran, by far the highest-profile president in the council’s 20-year history, also caused tensions in the organization’s office. There has been significant staff turnover since he arrived.
Since his guilty plea, the council’s 21-member board of directors has been conferring by phone and e-mail, and met officially in two conference calls Monday night and last night. Finneran’s allies and former colleagues in the Legislature mounted a behind-the-scenes effort to shore up support, calling council members and arguing he should stay. …
After his guilty plea, Finneran could lose his $30,909 public pension, a decision now in the hands of the state retirement board. He could also be disbarred or have his law license suspended.
Finneran is also in talks with the radio station WRKO to host a talk show.
Stephen Heuser can be reached at email@example.com.
© Copyright 2007 The New York Times Company
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