Top Boston tourism official arrested on extortion charges

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BOSTON >> The city of Boston's top tourism official has been arrested on what prosecutors described as union-related extortion charges.

Federal prosecutors say Kenneth Brissette, director of the Office of Tourism, Sports, and Entertainment, was arrested Thursday on a federal indictment charging him in connection with extortion of a music festival production company.

Authorities say Brissette extorted the company, which had already contracted with a non-union company to provide workers for a September 2014 festival, to hire members of the International Alliance of Theatrical Stage Employees by withholding required permits and approvals.

Prosecutors say when the company hired union workers, permits were issued.

The 52-year-old Brissette is scheduled to appear in court later Thursday.

It wasn't clear if he had a lawyer. A listing for a Kenneth Brissette in Boston had been disconnected.


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