Andrew Kerr, Washington Examiner, March 23, 2022
At least nine prominent Democratic officials at the local, state, and national level helped legitimize a Boston-area Black Lives Matter activist who was indicted last week for allegedly stealing funds from her anti-violence charity.
Labor Secretary Marty Walsh, Sen. Elizabeth Warren, Rep. Ayanna Pressley, and Boston Mayor Michelle Wu are among the officials who supported Monica Cannon-Grant during a time frame prosecutors allege the activist and her husband pilfered funds from the charity, Violence in Boston, to pay for personal expenses such as rent, vacations, nail salon services, and meals at Bubba Gump Shrimp.
Prosecutors said Cannon-Grant and her husband conspired to use Violence in Boston as a vehicle for their personal enrichment when they founded the charity in 2017. The pair is charged with stealing donations that were meant to purchase meals for needy children, help at-risk young men cope with violence in their neighborhoods, and organize conferences for black women.
The alleged fraud began in 2017 and increased in 2020 as Cannon-Grant’s profile grew during the nationwide unrest that followed George Floyd’s death.
Cannon-Grant claimed to have Boston officials on speed-dial in 2019.
Elected Democratic officials lent their personal and financial support to Cannon-Grant and her charity amid the alleged fraud.
Cannon-Grant claimed on her Facebook page that both Warren and Pressley provided financial support to Violence in Boston in June 2020, the same month both lawmakers appeared on a virtual activist summit organized by the charity.
Warren sent a letter to Cannon-Grant on June 1, 2020, thanking the activist for inviting her to the virtual summit, according to a copy of the letter posted on Cannon-Grant’s Facebook page.
Walsh diverted public funding to Cannon-Grant’s charity in 2018 when he was serving as mayor of Boston, according to the Boston Globe.
Walsh provided the funding after he met in person with Cannon-Grant and asked her to “stop calling me a motherf*****,” the Boston Globe reported.
The current mayor of Boston, Michelle Wu, also used her platform to support Cannon-Grant. Wu tweeted in June 2020 that she was “proud to be in the sea of tens of thousands” following the activist.
U.S. Attorney for the District of Massachusetts Rachael Rollins had to recuse herself from the case against Cannon-Grant because of her close ties to the activist.
Rollins called Cannon-Grant a “passionate skilled community advocate and she is a friend” during a campaign event in April 2019.
Three months later, Rollins, who at the time was the Suffolk County district attorney, awarded $6,000 in seized assets to Violence in Boston to fund a youth retreat to Philadelphia.