DeLeo Explains Hefty Legal Bill

Massachusetts House Speaker Robert DeLeo said Wednesday he is not the target of a federal investigation, despite paying his lawyer hefty legal fees.

The U.S. attorney is investigating widespread political patronage at the state probation department. An inspector general’s report found that DeLeo recommended a dozen candidates for jobs in the department, including his godson.

DeLeo’s campaign this week reported it had paid a $300,000 legal bill. The speaker said it’s that high because he has a great lawyer and the work spanned 3 or 4 years.

“I’m confident that I’m in the clear. Because I’ve been informed that the US attorney has stated that they have found that I was not part of any impropriety,” DeLeo said.

A spokesperson for the U.S. attorney in Boston declined to comment on DeLeo’s statement.

So far, no elected officials have been indicted. DeLeo said he does not know if other lawmakers are in trouble. He said he does know a federal grand jury is still “out there.”

Sarah Birnbaun, Sam Hudzik and the Associated Press contributed to this report.