Federal Judge Won’t Dismiss Extortion Charges Against Top Walsh Aides

The criminal case will proceed.

Photo via Mayor's Office/Don Harney

Photo via Mayor’s Office/Don Harney

A federal judge refused to throw out extortion and conspiracy charges against two top aides in Mayor Marty Walsh’s administration, accused of coercing the Boston Calling music festival into hiring union workers in 2014.

U.S. District Court Judge Leo T. Sorokin ordered Tuesday that the criminal case against tourism chief Kenneth Brissette and intergovernmental affairs chief Timothy Sullivan should proceed. Both Brissette and Sullivan remain on paid administrative leave from their jobs at City Hall.

“None of the defendants’ arguments merit the extraordinary remedy of dismissal,” the judge wrote.

Though the defense argued that prosecutors had violated Brissette and Sullivan’s constitution rights, Sorokin wrote that “the issues presented by the defendants’ motion are not purely legal ones capable of resolution without a trial on the merits.”

Federal prosecutors allege that Brissette and Sullivan pressured the company responsible for the music festival formerly held in City Hall Plaza by threatening to pull its permits unless it hired union workers.

You can read Judge Sorokin’s full order below: