Labor secretary faces questions from Democrats in police chief controversy

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Boston Mayor Marty Walsh listens to a question at a press conference announcing the postponement of the Boston Marathon to September 15th on March 13, 2020 in Boston, Massachusetts. The postponement is due to concerns over the possible spread of the coronavirus (COVID-19).

Massachusetts Democrats Sen. Elizabeth Warren and Rep. Seth Moulton are looking for answers about if Labor Secretary Marty Walsh knew about domestic violence allegations against Boston police commissioner Dennis White, The Boston Globe reported.

Walsh, who served as Boston mayor from 2014 until earlier this year, appointed White on Jan. 28. Six days later, while Walsh was still being vetted for his Cabinet position, the then-mayor put White on leave and announced that the city would conduct an investigation following questions about a 1999 allegation of domestic violence against White. 

The Globe has since reported that Walsh’s administration tried to end the investigation into White shortly after it started, which the Labor Department has denied.

White and a former police commissioner said in court on Wednesday that Walsh was aware of the domestic violence allegations against White when he appointed him.

Moulton said on Thursday that Walsh should resign if that was the case.

“There are a number of questions that everybody wants to know about this whole situation,” Moulton told the Globe. “We obviously need to know all the facts about his vetting. If it turns out Secretary Walsh is lying, he should resign as well.”

Walsh has reiterated that he was not aware of the allegations.

“As I said on February 3, I was not aware of these serious allegations until after I appointed White as police commissioner. Neither the allegations nor the internal affairs files were shared with me in 2014, or during any other consideration of Dennis White,” the secretary said in a statement. “Had I known, I would not have chosen him for police commissioner or any other role.”

Warren told The Globe she wants more information about the situation.

“I believe in transparency, and that means we need to hear everyone’s story, including that of the former mayor,” Warren said. “Let’s get the information out there and find out exactly what happened.”

The Globe also reached out to Massachusetts Democratic Reps. Ayanna Pressley and Richard Neal, who did not comment on the situation.

Tags Ayanna Pressley Boston Police Department Elizabeth Warren Marty Walsh Marty Walsh Richard Neal Seth Moulton The Boston Globe

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