News Update: Dianne Wilkerson

As a follow-up to yesterday’s article involving her:

State Senator Dianne Wilkerson was released yesterday afternoon after laying out 50 grand in bail money, according to the Boston Herald.  Wilkerson, who allegedly used the money to splurge on nights at Foxwoods Casino and $6,000 handbags, appeared unrepentant in front of the courthouse today.  Her lawyer claimed the $6,000 in cash found in her bag was for “expenses.”

If you want to see her affadavit, it’s here.  The highlights are that Wilkerson is being charged with “attempted extortion under the color of official right,” and “theft of honest services wire fraud,” and has numerous previous charges, such as:

Willful failure to file tax returns, to which she pled guilty and served 24 months of probation, the first 6 on house arrest, and paid a $2,000 fine.  She violated parole seven months later, and was re-senteced to two years of probation, and 30 days in a half-way house.

She has repeatedly violated Massachussets campaign finance laws, and was fined $1,500 for such violations, as well as her campaign being required to pay a $10,000 “civil forfeiture.”  In July, she signed a settlement agreement attesting to violations in record-keeping practices, use of campaign funds for personal benefit, or the benefit of others, receiving inappropriate campaign donations, “impro[er reimbursements of campaign funds,” which I can only assume means she kept her campaigning money, and gave it to others, and a failure to disclose campaign contributions and expenses in governmental filings.  She was required to forfeit $10,000, not seek reimbursement for another $29,000 that she spent, yield to tighter campaign restrictions, and agree to being subject to special audits on all campaigns through 2015, which may not be much of an issue if she’s convicted.  She agreed to this deal at the same time that she was allegedly accepting thousands in bribery money from undercover FBI agents.

Wilkerson also gave false testimony at a murder trial, insisting that she had been present during a police interview and that the police had tampered with audio evidence.  FBI forensics revealed no such tampering to have occured, and could not detect her presence on audio recordings.

A witness cooperating with the FBI told investigating agents that Wilkerson often took money from her constituents and others, and claims to have witnessed her accept two payments in connection with a nightclub in Roxbury, Massachusetts that wanted to relocate and obtain a liquor license. 

Investigators have images of Wilkerson receiving $500 cash payments in exchange for assistance receiving a liquor license.  She then spoke with the mayor, and acquired a beer and wine license for him.  She then received a $1,000 cash payment in the form of ten $100 bills, the serial numbers of which the FBI had recorded.  The government also recorded conversations between the witness and the state senator, and also acquired a letter on her stationary asking both the mayor and the chairman of the Boston Licensing Board, telling them to “secure a license for Deja vu immediately.”

She also called for a city council hearing on the issue of increasing the availability of alcohol licenses in her district, and sent information to a columnist at the Boston Globe stating that there were few liquor licenses available to minorities in Boston.

That’s the first quarter or so of the affadavit, in a quarter nutshell.  It’s 31 pages long.  I got the gist in the first four; some people should never hold public office.

– Fernando Arrue

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