How Dianne Wilkerson blackmailed the Boston City Council
And got Adrian Walker of the Globe involved in her seamy little game. Allegedly, of course.
But Walker shouldn't feel too badly: Aside from then City Council President Maureen Feeney, pretty much everyone involved comes off as an inadvertent enabler of an unscrupulous, determined Wilkerson in the federal complaint against her.
Remember last year when the city council sought state legislation so it didn't have to hold a preliminary election to reduce the number of at-large council candidates from nine to eight?
According to the criminal complaint against her, Wilkerson threatened to hold up that legislation unless the city granted a full liquor license to a proposed restaurant on Melnea Cass Boulevard (unfortunately for Wilkerson, the guy giving her all those bribes wore a wire the whole time).
The affidavit claims that for her cash payments, Wilkerson worked it: She sent letters to all city councilors demanding a hearing on liquor licenses. She convinced Walker to write a column pushing the joint's application - by painting the holdup as proof the city licensing board had it out for non-insiders.
And, allegedly, she then threatened the city council: Get Deja Vu its full license or she'd hold up the election bill. City Council President Maureen Feeney got mad, the complaint alleges, but agreed to meet with Wilkerson.
Then Wilkerson put a hold on a second bill, which would have given raises to Licensing Board staffers. And she got Therese Murray to call Feeney to push for the license.
The Licensing Board eventually did agree to grant the license, after Wilkerson lifted her "hold" on the pay raises and agreed to sponsor legislation to get Boston more liquor licenses. And the council got its home-rule legislation to eliminate the preliminary.