Dec. 23, 2008
In a meeting last week that was insulated from the lenses of TV cameras and newspaper reporters, former State Senator Dianne Wilkerson lashed out at several ministers affiliated with the Black Ministerial Alliance of Greater Boston and the Boston Ten-Point Coalition, essentially accusing them of conspiring to remove her from office. Read more
"Not guilty, your honor."
Those words, said firmly and confidently, made up former Sen. Dianne Wilkerson's first public comments since she was ushered out of her Senate office by her sons and family friends, after formally resigning on Nov. 19.
Before an audience in the jury box comprised of visiting prosecutors, judges and defense attorneys from Macedonia, Wilkerson pleaded not guilty during her arraignment on Monday in U.S. District Court in Boston, kicking off what could be a long legal fight for the Roxbury Democrat. Her next court date is Jan. 22. Read more
Nov. 20, 2008
Sen. Dianne Wilkerson resigned Wednesday, after her indictment Tuesday on federal charges that she took $23,500 in bribes to take legislative action.
Wilkerson had come under heavy pressure from colleagues, who voted to ask for her resignation within days of her arrest last month.
Her resignation marks the end of a Senate career that saw her come to prominence as one of the state's few prominent African American politicians in the early 1990s, champion a string of progressive causes, and run into a long list of ethical violations and legal problems, including tax evasion. Read more
Nov. 12, 2008
State Sen. Dianne Wilkerson, who was photographed by the FBI allegedly stuffing bribe money under her sweater, says she's not resigning immediately because she wants an orderly transition. Wilkerson made the statement despite a vote by the Massachusetts Senate last week calling on her to give up her seat. Senators also sent the matter to the Senate Ethics Committee.
In a written statement, Wilkerson said she's still planning to resign, but couldn't set a date, noting that there are just "60 days remaining in this legislative session.'' Read more
At dinner tables, on the street and in church in Dorchester, discussions of state Sen. Dianne Wilkerson and what it means for black politics are running apace with those about the first African-American president this country has ever seen. Read more
On September 22, less than a week after State Senator Dianne Wilkerson had lost the Democratic primary by 213 votes, dozens of supporters turned out for her at the Prince Hall Grand Lodge in Grove Hall.
They came, not to bury the senator, but to praise her.
Jessenia Castillo told how the senator used her own money to protect her from a threat of violence by making it possible for her to stay at a hotel.
Also giving thanks to the senator were two relatives of Milena Del Valle, who was killed in the collapse of a ceiling panel in a connector tunnel on the Big Dig. Read more
Oct. 29, 2008
As elected officials and voters were lining up on either side of a sticker-campaign showdown between state Sen. Dianne Wilkerson and Democratic nominee Sonia Chang-Diaz in the final days of the campaign, a game-changer exploded on Tuesday morning when the incumbent was arrested and charged with federal corruption and wire fraud. Read more
During her 15 years in elective office, Dianne Wilkerson has had an overwhelming number of issues that point to her malfeasance. There's a long litany of events - from federal tax evasion to misappropriating campaign funds - and each time, the senator from the 2nd Suffolk District has shown an implausible ability to bounce back and survive politically. Despite each new transgression, voters in her district have overlooked her foibles, forgiven her failings, and voted to keep her in office. Read more
Oct. 1, 2008
As state Sen. Dianne Wilkerson cranks up her political apparatus for a write-in campaign to keep the Second Suffolk District seat she's held for 15 years, her colleagues on Beacon Hill, in City Hall and among the Dorchester delegation are largely staying on the sidelines. Read more
In the early aftermath of last month's primary election, some supporters of State Senator Dianne Wilkerson made remarks that were racially charged and deeply troubling.
Reporter correspondent Gintautas Dumcius was in the room when the senator's supporters rallied in Grove Hall last Tuesday for what served as the launch of Wilkerson's bid to challenge Chang-Diaz in a sticker candidacy next month.
Dumcius's report included the following: Read more