Two Former Boston Mayoral Aides Convicted In Extortion Trial

BOSTON (WBZ NewsRadio) — Two former aides to Boston Mayor Marty Walsh have been found guilty in the Boston Calling extortion case.

Kenneth Brissette, the former city tourism chief, and Timothy Sullivan, former head of intergovernmental affairs, were convicted of conspiracy Wednesday. Brissette was also convicted of extortion.

The verdict came one day after the 12-member jury began deliberations after hearing closing arguments at the end of a two-week trial.

Prosecutors said Brissette and Sullivan demanded in 2014 that Crashline Productions, the organizer of the Boston Calling music festival, hire union labor in exchange for needed permits.

Lawyers for Brissette and Sullivan claimed there was no quid pro quo, and that they were simply asking the festival's organizers to hire union help; the festival ended up hiring non-union stagehands.

Following the verdict, Mayor Walsh released a statement saying he is "surprised and disappointed."

"I have made clear from the beginning that there is only one way to do things in my Administration and that is the right way," the statement read. "I have always believed that their hearts were in the right place. We have taken several measures at the City of Boston to ensure that every employee has the right tools and training to perform at the highest ethical standards, which has always been my expectation."

There was speculation that Walsh would testify in the trial; he did not, but former Boston Police Commissioner William Evans did.

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