Boston Mayor Marty Walsh said he was not involved in any wrongdoing related to the Thursday morning arrest of a city official on a federal extortion charge.
“I know I’ve done nothing wrong in any of my doings as the mayor of Boston,” Walsh said. “I’m very confident in that.”
Early Thursday morning, a federal indictment accused Boston tourism and entertainment official Kenneth Brissette of pressuring a local music festival into hiring union labor in order to receive a permit necessary to hold the event.
The Boston Globe has previously reported that federal law enforcement was looking into the city’s interactions with the Boston Calling festival.
Walsh said on Thursday afternoon that he still had confidence in Brissette, who is currently on paid administrative leave. Walsh said he meets with Brissette a few times a month.
“Everyone tells me he’s doing a good job,” Walsh said. “When you go and ask people, anybody, they’ll say great things about the man [and] about his job performance. He’s a workaholic.”
He added that he was “saddened” by the indictment and said it was “devastating.”
“I had a meeting this morning with the Tourism office, and there’s a lot of shocked and upset people there today,” he said.
In a statement, Brissette said the indictment was “factually and legally flawed.” He said he intended to “fight these false charges with everything at my disposal.”
The Globe has reported that Walsh, a former union labor leader, is being probed by federal investigators over his role in a labor dispute in Somerville’s Assembly Row in 2012. Walsh has denied any wrongdoing in that case.
“The one thing I know is I’ve done no wrongdoing in this investigation or any investigation that’s been talked about,” Walsh said.