Former Massachusetts House Speaker Salvatore DiMasi's bid to win early release from prison has moved to a federal courtroom.
DiMasi has been battling cancer while serving nearly five years of an eight-year prison sentence for corruption.
The U.S. Bureau of Prisons and federal prosecutors have recommended that he be released early. DiMasi has been treated for cancer twice while in prison.
U.S. District Judge Mark Wolf held a hearing on Tuesday.
In a written order, Wolf says several key details are missing from the recommendation, including specifics on DiMasi's current medical condition. Wolf says the request could potentially raise questions of preferential treatment for the 71-year-old Boston Democrat because of his previous political stature.
Wolf cautioned in court that the hearing was unprecedented and questioned whether the motion for DiMasi's compassionate release was improperly influenced by DiMasi's former status as the speaker of the Massachusetts House of representatives.
Wolf noted that it is important DiMasi be treated equally to other prisoners.
DiMasi was convicted of steering state contracts to a software firm in exchange for $65,000.
Wolf gave both sides of the case until the end of business Wednesday to come up with proposed conditions if he were to grant the early release.