Update: 4:32 p.m.: Boston Mayor Marty Walsh said Wednesday that the federal indictment of another top city hall operative in connection with the extortion of a music festival production company was of great concern—but he also expressed support for his staffer.
Walsh, confronted for the second time within six weeks with a federal indictment of a trusted staffer, said, “There is no room in my Administration for the type of behavior that is alleged here.”
But he acknowledged that the appearance of impropriety is undermining that message.
"Anytime there’s an indictment it looks bad," Walsh said.
Tim Sullivan, the mayor’s Chief of Intergovernmental Affairs, is accused of two counts of extortion for trying to force the Boston Calling music festival to hire union workers.
"I am not happy, but I’m also sad at the same time and Tim has a wife and a baby at home and that stuff bothers me, what’s going on here bothers me," he said.
Walsh was emphatic in stating that there is no corruption at City Hall and equally emphatic in stating his plans to run for re-election.
"Absolutely running for re-election," he said. "I love my job and I intend to come back in 2018 as mayor."
The mayor said he would not comment on the particulars when asked if he has been called to testify.
A second Boston city official is under indictment for union related extortion charges involving a music festival in the city.
The U.S. Attorney's Office says Timothy Sullivan, Boston's Chief of Staff for Intergovernmental Affairs was arrested this morning on two counts of federal indictment.
In May, Mayor Walsh's Director of Tourism Kenneth Brissette was indicted by a grand jury on union related extortion charges. Brissette was charged with using his office to pressure the Boston Calling music festival into hiring union workers that the company neither wanted nor needed. The 52-year-old Boston resident has pleaded not guilty.
Mayor Walsh told the Globe in April that he assumed there would be more indictments following Brissette, but Walsh said said he would "not be getting one of those."
Mayor Walsh released a statement this morning in response to the second indictment:
I am deeply concerned about these allegations. It is a great privilege to serve in City Hall and I will not allow anyone to squander that privilege. I expect everyone to perform at the highest ethical standards. There is no room in my Administration for the type of behavior that is alleged here.
That is why I have called for an independent ethics training program for all of the City's department heads. And its why I have outside counsel looking into how these events have been managed. We need to ensure that the right practices are in place and the right safeguards. We are having a panel of experts review how things are done and help improve policies. I will not pre-judge anyone's guilt or innocence. Nor will I tolerate anything less than the highest ethical standards.
Sullivan will be arraigned later today at the U.S. District Court.
This is the first high-profile corruption case to darken city hall in decades.
Read the indictment: