BOSTON (CBS) - According to court documents, former Boston Mayor Marty Walsh knew about domestic abuse allegations against Dennis White when he appointed him as police commissioner earlier this year.
In an affidavit filed in Suffolk Superior Court, former Police Commissioner William Gross testified that Walsh had known about the accusations against White since 2014. Walsh resigned as mayor in March to become the U.S. Secretary of Labor.
"There is no way anyone is brought onto the Command Staff without such a briefing to the Mayor and approval by the Mayor," Gross alleges in the sworn statement. "The city, including Mayor Walsh, was aware no later than January of 2014 of White's IA record," Gross wrote.
Walsh denied he ever knew about White's alleged domestic abuse.
"As I said on February 3, I was not aware of these serious allegations until after I appointed White as police commissioner," Walsh said in a statement Wednesday night. "Neither the allegations nor the internal affairs files were shared with me in 2014, or during any other consideration of Dennis White. Had I known, I would not have chosen him for police commissioner or any other role."
"Neither Mayor Walsh nor I had any knowledge of Dennis White's disturbing domestic history. I never briefed Mayor Walsh on any IAD complaints involving White," former Commissioner William Evans told WBZ-TV in a statement. Gross took over for Evans in August 2018.
White, a 32-year veteran of the force, was first promoted to deputy superintendent in 2014. By February 1, 2021, he was sworn in as Boston's 43rd police commissioner after Gross suddenly announced his retirement.
Two days later, White was taken off the job after decades-old allegations of a domestic abuse came up. An independent investigator was hired to look into the case and last week, Acting Mayor Kim Janey released the findings of the independent report and said it was clear to her that Boston needed to move on.
"This investigation of Dennis White reveals a flawed process and a misguided department culture," Janey said.
Now White is fighting back, filing a lawsuit to stop Mayor Janey from firing him.
"There is already a Boston Police Commissioner and that is Dennis White. Acting Mayor Janey does not have the power to remove him," White's attorney Nick Carter said.
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