Mar. 7, 2011
NOTE:This article was updated on Wed. March 9, 2011, after the ministers and the head of the Urban League of Massachusetts responded to requests for comment in an afternoon email.
Former state Sen. Dianne Wilkerson has long intimated that prominent leaders in the black community were involved with the FBI and her fall from grace. On Sunday night, days before she was expected to report to a Connecticut prison and start her 42-month sentence, the Roxbury Democrat named names, alleging that two ministers in particular reported on her to the FBI.
In front of a crowd of about 80 people gathered at Hibernian Hall for a forum labeled “The Attack on Black Leadership,” Wilkerson asserted that Rev. Ray Hammond and Bishop Gideon Thompson were the ministers among a “host of people” in the community who had worked with the FBI. Her eleventh-hour allegations sent shockwaves throughout the city’s political class and drew denials from those accused. Read more
Calling for a lighter sentence than federal prosecutors' recommendation of four years in prison, former state Sen. Dianne Wilkerson's attorneys have argued in court papers that the Roxbury Democrat has been "selfless," pointing to a letter in support of Wilkerson from a family member of Milena DelValle, the woman killed in the Big Dig tunnel collapse.
But prosecutors hit back in a Wednesday court filing, less than a day before a judge is due to sentence her. They argued she undercuts her own claims by having attempted to get a fee for referring the victim's family to an attorney. Read more
Citing â€œinflammatoryâ€ media coverage of her arrest on corruption charges, â€œoutrageousâ€ behavior of federal prosecutors, and a potential under-representation of minorities on a jury, the attorney for former Sen. Dianne Wilkerson on Monday called for either a dismissal of charges or a change of venue for her impending trial. Read more
The first African-American elected to the state Senate on Tuesday endorsed City Councillor At-Large Sam Yoon for mayor. Read more
Or, the case of the mysterious white van:
Federal prosecutors have offered a behind-the-scenes look at the arrests of former state Sen. Dianne Wilkerson and District 7 City Councillor Chuck Turner in response to a judge questioning their methods in hauling the two politicians in on corruption charges. Read more
Aiming for a second term, City Councillor At-Large John Connolly has hired a strategist who helped Sonia Chang-Diaz topple Sen. Dianne Wilkerson in last Septemberâ€™s Democratic primary for the Second Suffolk District.
Dan Cohen also consulted for Connolly in the 2007 campaign for City Council. Cohenâ€™s other clients include Sara Orozco, a Democrat who unsuccessfully ran against Sen. Scott Brown (R-Wrentham) last year. Read more
As if former state Sen. Dianne Wilkerson didnâ€™t have enough problems: At the end of Tuesday, she was more than a month late in filing a required financial interest disclosure form. As a former elected official, she was supposed to file the form, known as a â€œstatement of financial interest,â€ for 2008 with the state Ethics Commission by May 1. Her attorney did not return a phone call seeking comment. Read more
Mar. 12, 2009
During an introductory meeting usually set aside for adoption of procedural rules and informal pleasantries, Committee on Consumer Protection and Professional Licensure Co-chairman Sen. Michael Morrissey on Tuesday volunteered cautionary advice.
"Whatever Dianne did, don't do," Morrissey told the five other lawmakers who showed up for the 17-member committee's first meeting of the 2009-2010 session. Read more
Federal prosecutors are telling District 7 Councillor Chuck Turner, whom they've charged with corruption, to pipe down, citing the intense media coverage of the case. Turner has pledged to fight the gag order.
In a motion filed on Monday in U.S. District Court, U.S. Assistant Attorney John McNeil asked for the gag order to be imposed on Turner, preventing him from talking about the case and any materials the government may have to give him over the course of the case. Read more