Richard Vitale, co-founder of accounting firm Vitale Caturano, resigned after allegations emerged that he assisted ticket brokers with getting favorable legislation passed in Massachusetts without first registering as a lobbyist.
Vitale reportedly resigned under pressure from the other partners in the firm, according to the Boston Globe, with the other partners threatening to fire him if he did not step down from the firm he co-founded 30 years ago. Vitale's biography has already been removed from the firm's Web site.
Vitale is also accused of loaning House Speaker Salvatore DiMasi $250,000 for a mortgage on DiMasi's condo at below-market rates. DiMasi repaid the bulk of the loan only after the Globe revealed the arrangement. Vitale also denied at first that he was a lobbyist for the Massachusetts Association of Ticket Brokers, but after the organization disagreed, he later registered as a lobbyist, without listing any clients.
According to Joe Grillo, a spokesman for the firm, Vitale had previous plans to retire from the firm and was already chairman emeritus. Grillo forwarded a statement noting that Vitale had fully redeemed all of his ownership in the firm last July. "During the past several months, as an employee of Vitale Caturano, Dick has been working closely with the firm to assure a smooth transition of his leadership and client responsibilities," said the statement.
George Regan, a spokesman for Vitale, described the process of Vitale leaving the firm as "a gradual phase-out," but acknowledged that the scandal over the ticket broker lobbying was "like the perfect storm." He said that although Vitale has now registered as a lobbyist, he is really a business consultant and has no lobbying clients.
Allan Koltin, president and CEO of consultancy PDI Global, believes the firm will do fine under its managing partner, Richard Caturano. "The sad part is the firm has a great reputation," he said. "Rich Caturano is a great leader, and they will bounce back from this."
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