…I would be feeling like an idiot right about now. A while ago, I endorsed Sonia Chang-Diaz over Dianne Wilkerson for MA State Senate because I thought Wilkerson had some ethics problems. I didn’t know the half of it (italics mine):
State Senator Dianne Wilkerson was arrested this morning after an 18-month undercover investigation by Boston Police and the FBI in which she allegedly accepted eight bribes worth $23,500.
The 15-year Democratic lawmaker allegedly accepted cash payoffs that ranged from $500 to $10,000 to help a nightclub secure a liquor license and to assist a private developer who wanted to build on state land. Wilkerson allegedly tried to influence legislation in the state Senate as recently as last week to help the developer in the Crosstown section of Roxbury, near the intersection of Melnea Cass Boulevard and Massachusetts Avenue….
One series of photographs displayed by federal authorities at a press conference this morning show Wilkerson allegedly stuffing a $1,000 payoff into her bra during a meeting with an informant at No. 9 Park restaurant that was surreptitiously recorded with audio and video. The 10 $100 bills were not in an envelope and were clearly visible in the photograph dated June 18, 2007.
According to a 32-page affidavit, Wilkerson also brought along a grandchild when she accepted a $1,000 kickback on Aug. 31, 2007, at the Fill-A-Buster restaurant, which is directly across the street from the State House.
Because the family that grafts together, stays together. Like I said, there’s a track record of this:
The arrest is the latest in a line of legal difficulties that Wilkerson has faced in her career. Wilkerson is currently facing the loss of her license to practice law. The Board of Bar Overseers has alleged she lied under oath at a 2005 Suffolk Superior Court hearing in a murder case, an allegation she has denied.
This summer, Wilkerson agreed to pay a $10,000 fine to the state attorney general’s office and acknowledged campaign finance violations dating back to 2000. The violations related to improper reimbursements of campaign contributions to herself and failing to report some contributions.
In 1998, the Roxbury Democrat settled another campaign finance violation case. She also was sentenced to 30 days in a halfway house for violating the terms of a six-month home confinement for failing to pay $50,000 in federal income taxes.
Worse, for Wilkerson, there are publicly available undercover photos, which are a great incentive to not commit crimes–no one, I mean no one, looks good in undercover photos.
I’m feeling like my state senate district dodged a bullet…