Mass. Liquor License Employee Accused of Taking Bribe

A Massachusetts Alcoholic Beverages Control Commission investigator was arrested yesterday and charged with accepting a cash bribe of several thousand dollars to help a convicted felon obtain a liquor license, the Boston Globe reported, citing the Middlesex district attorney’s office. Arthur Hitchman, 39, of Melrose was charged with attempted extortion, bribery, and two counts of improperly storing a firearm. He pleaded not guilty yesterday afternoon in Malden District Court.

The Globe reports that in exchange for $3,000 in cash, Hitchman allegedly offered to obtain the liquor license for a convicted felon who was attempting to open a restaurant in Everett. Hitchman was hired as an inspector by the commission in 2001. He has been suspended without pay.

Former state senator Dianne Wilkerson admitted to a federal judge in June that she took $23,500 in bribes, pleaded guilty to attempted extortion charges in connection with securing a liquor license for a nightclub and legislation to pave the way for a commercial development in Roxbury.