Second Walsh Administration Official Arrested on Federal Extortion Charges

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Photo via Mayor's Office/Isabel Leon

Photo via Mayor’s Office/Isabel Leon

A second member of Mayor Marty Walsh’s administration has been arrested on federal extortion charges, U.S. Attorney Carmen Ortiz announced early Wednesday morning.

City of Boston Chief of Staff of Intergovernmental Affairs arrested in connection with extortion of a music festival production company

— U.S. Attorney MA (@DMAnews1) June 29, 2016

Timothy Sullivan, Walsh’s chief of staff for intergovernmental affairs, allegedly joined tourism czar Kenneth Brissette in withholding city permits from the Boston Calling music festival until promoters hired stagehands from Local 11 of the International Alliance of Theatrical Stage Employees in 2014.

Sullivan, of Dorchester, served as legislative and communications director of the AFL-CIO before joining Walsh’s administration a month after he took office. Tuesday’s indictment alleges that Sullivan and Brissette, who pleaded not guilty to similar extortion charges in May, repeatedly demanded that Boston Calling hire union workers.

“At the meeting, Brissette and Sullivan again stated that Company A would need to hire members of IATSE Local 11 to work at the festival,’’ the indictment says. “Brissette and Sullivan insisted that half of Company A’s labor force consist of union members. Later that afternoon, Company A entered into a contract with Local 11 for eight additional laborers and one foreman as a result of the demands made by Brissette and Sullivan. Shortly thereafter, the City of Boston issued the necessary permits.’’

Emails obtained by the Globe in May show that union stagehands passed the contract proposal to Boston Calling through Sullivan, and thanked him for his assistance.

“I’m confident we can get a deal for a dozen or so stagehands especially with Mayor Walsh’s backing,” said Colleen A. Glynn, business manager for the International Alliance of Theatrical Stage Employees, Local 11, in one email.

Source URL: https://www.bostonmagazine.com/news/2016/06/29/second-walsh-official-arrested/