Member of Mayor Wu's Administration Placed on Leave Amid Allegations

Freda Brasfield was arraigned Friday in Middlesex Superior Court on money laundering charges related to a scheme to smuggle synthetic drugs into a state prison, the Boston Globe reported

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Freda Brasfield, the administration and finance director for Boston Mayor Michelle Wu's office, has been placed on administrative leave.

A spokesperson for Wu's office released a brief statement on the situation Friday evening.



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"The City was made aware of these allegations yesterday evening. Today, the City placed Ms. Brasfield on unpaid administrative leave while the court case proceeds or additional information becomes available."

According to the Boston Globe, Brasfield was arraigned Friday in Middlesex Superior Court where she pleaded not guilty to money laundering charges related to a scheme to smuggle synthetic drugs into a state prison. The 55-year-old was released on personal recognizance and is due back in court on March 1.

Court records show Brasfield and several others were indicted on Dec. 15, the Globe reported. Brasfield is accused of paying a former state inmate who was arranging a delivery of synthetic cannabinoids in January 2022 to her nephew, Keenan Brasfield, 31, while he was incarcerated at MCI-Shirley.

The attorney general’s office confirmed the charges to the Globe but declined to comment on the case, citing the ongoing investigation. City Council President Ed Flynn declined to comment on the allegations.

Prosecutors said, according to the Globe, that Brasfield allegedly used Cash App, an electronic money transfer application, to finance the illegal sale of the drugs.

Her attorney, David E. Meier, said Saturday that Brasfield didn’t commit any crimes and “has done everything humanly possible to ensure that the investigators and the prosecutors got it right,” describing her as “an honorable and dedicated public servant and a deeply valued member of the community,” who has been "wrongfully charged," the Globe reported.

Freda Brasfield began working for the city in the 1990s as a construction monitor, visiting work sites to ensure they were hiring Boston residents, women, and people of color, as required by city law, the Globe reported.

Brasfield later worked 11 years for the city as a neighborhood services coordinator in Mattapan and Dorchester. She worked as chief of staff in the Economic Development Cabinet in the Marty Walsh administration and as deputy to the city’s first chief diversity officer, the Globe reported.

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