Top of the Ticket

Political commentary from the LA Times

« Previous Post | Top of the Ticket Home | Next Post »

So how much bribe money will a legislator's bra hold anyway?

October 29, 2008 |  1:16 am

Here's an important state political story we almost missed given all the sound and fury surrounding the climax of the 2008 presidential election race between Barack Obama and John McCain and their trusty sidekicks, Joe Biden and Sarah Palin.

For a brief change of pace we're going to tell you about Massachusetts state senator Dianne Wilkerson. She's a Democrat who's in some more legal trouble now because, it seems, an FBI sting operation caught her on videotape stuffing numerous $100 bills into her bra as alleged bribe payments during FBI photo of Massachusetts state senator Dianne Wilkerson stuffing $100 bills in alleged bribes into her bra during a restaurant meetinga meeting in a fancy Boston restaurant.

According to U.S. Atty. Michael Sullivan and a 32-page affidavit filed in federal court Tuesday, Wilkerson is charged with accepting $23,500 in eight different bribes over an 18-month period in return for her legislative influence on behalf of a developer and bar owner, among others.

The embattled legislator has represented the Roxbury area since her first election in 1992 as the state's only black state senator. Wilkerson, who's been supported by Gov. Deval Patrick, lost the Democratic primary but is seeking reelection through a sticker writein campaign next week.

Max Stern, Wilkerson's attorney, maintains her innocence and accused federal authorities of trying to "character assassinate" her by bringing up past legal troubles, including a tax-cheating conviction and campaign finance violations.

The state bar has begun proceedings to disbar Wilkerson for perjury during state court testimony on behalf of a nephew convicted of murder.

And now back to your regularly-scheduled presidential campaign.

--Andrew Malcolm

No alleged or genuine bribes necessary for automatic alerts of each new Ticket item sent straight to your cellphone by registering here.

Photo credit: U.S. Attorneys Office via Associated Press. Place cursor on photo for caption.