IOC Member Says Walsh Aide Indictment Makes Mega-Event Planners Wary

The mayor's tourism czar is charged with 'union-related extortion.'

Photo via AP

Photo via AP

The federal indictment of Mayor Marty Walsh’s tourism czar may give international mega-event organizers pause, says one of men behind an event Boston overwhelmingly rejected.

International Olympic Committee member Richard “Dick” Pound, of Canada, says the brewing scandal surrounding Kenneth Brissette, City Hall’s director of tourism, sports, and entertainment, could hurt the Hub’s chances at securing the sort of international sporting events Walsh has chased while in office.

“If you’re out looking for a host for world championships, at least in any of the Olympic sports, they will remember that and the bargain may be driven harder,” Pound told the Herald. “If you’re going to put on the world athletics championships or the world boxing or field hockey or whatever it may be, people would remember that and say, ‘Hmm, we’d better watch out with these guys.’”

Brissette was arrested at his home Thursday and charged with “union-related extortion” of the Boston Calling musical festival production company. Brissette allegedly withheld permits from Boston Calling organizers until they agreed to hire stagehands from International Alliance of Theatrical Stage Employees Local 11, U.S. District Attorney Carmen Ortiz said. Brissette, 52, pleaded not guilty in federal court and has been placed on paid administrative leave.

Walsh hired Brissette to court these international events to Boston in 2014, the same year he’s accused of strong-arming a production company filming an episode of Top Chef for using non-union labor. While the Boston 2024 bid devolved into a yearlong, slo-mo Hindenburg, and IndyCar Boston quit before it ever really began, the city did host the World Figure Skating Championships at TD Garden for the first time in April.