The following is a Catholic Action League of Massachusetts press release…
Today, two officials of the administration of Boston Mayor Martin J. Walsh were convicted of conspiracy to commit extortion in the Boston Calling Music Festival case. A federal jury in the U. S. District Court in Boston found that Kenneth Brissette, the city’s director of tourism, and Timothy Sullivan, chief of intergovernmental affairs, unlawfully pressured Crash Line Productions—the organizers of the festival—into hiring nine members of a stagehands union to satisfy Mayor Walsh, a former president of both Local 223 of the Laborers Union and the Metropolitan Boston Building and Construction Trades Council.
U. S. Attorney Andrew Lelling claimed that the defendants threatened to withhold municipal permits from festival organizers if they refused to hire union labor, a favored constituency and key interest group for the Walsh administration.
Given the striking parallels between the Boston Calling case and the South Boston Saint Patrick’s Day Parade controversy, the Catholic Action League of Massachusetts is calling upon the U. S. Attorney’s office to open an extortion probe into how the City of Boston coerced the Allied War Veterans Council into accepting another group of Walsh supporters, the LGBT organization OUTVETS, into the parade.
Catholic Action League Executive Director C. J. Doyle made the following comment: “With both the festival and the parade, the same strong arm tactics were used to accomplish the same political object. Threats were made to deny city permits if organizers refused to accede to city demands to accept in their event the campaign loyalists of Marty Walsh.”
“In the parade case, the threats were even more extreme. Parade organizers were told that the Boston Police might not be able to secure the perimeter of the parade and protect participants from violence. With the festival, illegal pressure was furtive and implied. With the parade, it was overt and aggressive, and included the notorious episode, where, at a public venue in Boston, Marty Walsh shouted threats and obscenities at parade adjutant Phil Wuschke.”
“Crash Line Productions were threatened by functionaries of the mayor. The Allied War Veterans were threatened by the mayor himself. The pattern is identical—an abuse of power characterized by thuggish tactics to advance the political interests of the Walsh administration. The U. S. Attorney’s office should investigate the corporate culture of unlawful coercion which exists within the upper echelons of the administration of Mayor Marty Walsh.”