Good job Mayor Walsh. You hire a former U.S. Attorney who worked in the office of Boston’s U.S.Attorney Ortiz to do an investigation of your office. He does and one of your aides ends up indicted. Hmmm!
My main source notified me of the indictment of Kenneth Brissette (Kenny). I replied: “looks like they are trying to squeeze him to get to the mayor.” As you know, the Siamese twins, the Globe and Boston U.S. Attorney, are out to put in a new mayor. Boston is a new cosmopolitan city. It’s out with the old in the form of the inner city Irish mayor from Boston College. Time to go Ivy.
What is it that Kenny did to get himself jammed in? We heard before that he called two Boston businesses and warned them that they would be picketed by the Teamsters if they let some cooking show use their premises. The businesses worrying the picketing might drive away some customers cancelled the show. No one ever said that was a crime.
The show moved to Milton where it was picketed by a group of Teamsters who were indicted for conducting their picketing in a less than proper manner. They used swear words, verbal threats and pushed or grabbed some. In the new gentile Boston pickets are to be seen but not heard; they are to facilitate the passage of those who violate their picket lines.
Yes, they have a right to picket, or at least it seemed that they did. In a sense a prosecutor can make picketing into a form of extortion – workers are trying to get higher wages or better working conditions – they noisily proclaim their grievances – they hurt the business by driving customers away. Their message is “give into our demands or we will hurt your business.”
When I realize the union busting Boston U.S. attorney is a Democrat appointee I see unions have lost their power. It brings me back a hundred years when the big business executives (robber barons) refused to deal with unions. Then too when workers picketed they were attacked by the government prosecutors.
To see Kenny’s transgressions I checked his indictment. It reads that a “Company A” (ACo) produces two music festivals a year in Boston. To do that it needed permits. The union, in this case “The International Alliance of Theatrical Stage Employees (IATSE)” wanted ACo to hire its members. ACo did not want to do it. In 2013 everything went swimmingly for ACo.
In 2014 Kenny and the mayor came to power.
The cooking show Company B (BCo) comes to Boston and gets its permits. It is a non-union company. Kenny learns from filming location scout John Doe A (JDA) who already has BCo’s permits that the Teamsters were upset with BCo since it did not hire Teamster drivers. Kenny tells JDA to hold the permits until he resolved the issue with BCo. He then told BCo: “no Teamsters; no permits.”
When BCo agrees to meet with Teamsters Kenny okayed JDA giving permits. Kenny also called (which we learned before in an earlier indictment) two businesses and told them they might be picketed by the Teamsters. In June 2014 Kenny spoke to two other public employees who told him that public officials have to be neutral when it comes to union or non-union workers.
A rep from Company C (CCo) in August 2014 made a presentation to Kenny seeking a permit. During the presentation Kenny took the rep into “a private meeting” and said CCo had to work “in a union environment” and it would be easier to get a permit if it had union connections.
[It should be noted that nothing relating to BCo or CCo is alleged to be criminal. It is put in the indictment just bring in witnesses to muddy up Kenny. If Kenny has dealt with hundreds of other companies where none of this happened, it will be kept out of evidence as irrelevant.]
Kenny also during the summer of 2014 told ACo seeking a September permit that it would be advisable to hire the IATSE workers. ACo balked but then hired eight members to get the permits. Just before the festival opened Kenny put the arm on ACo again and got a union foreman and eight more union workers hired; he then issued the permits.
Kenny is only indicted for his actions against ACo. The indictment says he “obstructed, delayed and affected commerce, . . . by extortion and attempted to do the same, in that [Kenny] . . . did obtain property of [ACo] . . . to wit: Money to be paid as wagers for imposed, unwanted and unnecessary and superfluous services and wages and benefits to be paid . . . [through the consent of ACo which was] induced by the wrongful use of fear of economic harm . . . “
There is added to the one count indictment a request for forfeiture of “any and all property, real and personal, which constitutes or is traceable” to the extortion. I’m not sure what Kenny got out of getting some union people jobs but whatever the government can invent it will go after. (It took Jimmy Katz’s house from him because he was a bookie.)
The penalty for this is 20 years. Kenny’s 52 years old. It’s no time of life to begin doing time.
Obviously Kenny is not the target. Ortiz (and her Globe friends) want Kenny to say “Marty made me do it.”
Remember these are the prosecutors who knew their witness Steve Flemmi told their other witness John Martorano that he “accidentally” strangled his girl friend Debra Davis but because they wanted to indict Jimmy Bulger they had him say Jimmy made him do it; it is also the gang that knew when John Martorano (who admitted murdering several people who he thought were going to witnesses against his friends) learned the John Callahan might be a witness against him (Callahan hired him to murder a guy) they had him say FBI agent John Connolly made him murder Callahan.
The only thing standing between New Boston and the old guard is Kenny. Will Kenny stand up? It will be hard. His lawyer will tell him if he is convicted the judge will give him prison time. He’ll also be dragged back like Catherine Greig and put before a grand jury where he’ll be forced to testify against others. His future looks bleak; will he be Boston Strong or Weak?