BOSTON (WHDH) - Boston Mayor Kim Janey on Monday announced the termination of embattled Police Commissioner Dennis White.
“Earlier today, I informed Dennis White of his termination as Commissioner of the Boston Police Department, effective immediately,” Janey said during an afternoon news conference. “I reached this decision after carefully considering the results of an independent investigation.”
White was placed on leave in February, just days into the role, after The Boston Globe raised questions about allegations found in court documents that White pushed and threatened to shoot his then-wife, a fellow police officer.
While White has “repeatedly asserted” that the allegations against him are false, Janey said White stated in a private hearing last week and during the investigation that he had “hit and pushed members of his household.”
“The allegations and evidence of this behavior raised serious questions about his fitness to lead the Boston Police Department,” Janey said.
During the private meeting, White’s legal team released statements from family members denying allegations of domestic abuse involving his wife after he lost a series of court challenges.
“White’s actions in recent weeks have done even more to erode public trust in his judgement and his ability to lead,” Janey said. “Instead of expressing understanding, regret, growth, or contrition regarding his admitted actions about domestic violence, Dennis White has continued to campaign to vilify his former wife.”
Janey added that White “failed to fully cooperate” during the investigation and that he was a “reoccurring presence at police headquarters” while on leave.
“It is clear that Dennis White’s return as commissioner would send a chilling message to victims of domestic violence in our city and reinforce a culture of fear,” Janey said. “White’s documented conduct 20 years ago and during the course of the investigation led me to the inescapable conclusion that it is not in the best interest of the Boston Police Department, its employees, or the citizens of Boston for him to remain as commissioner.”
In a statement released on behalf of White, his attorney Nick Carter said, “Commissioner White is deeply disappointed by Acting Mayor Janey’s decision…The investigation was biased…She destroyed a good man’s name.”
Janey also reiterated that she is committed to overseeing systemic reforms to bring transparency and accountability to policing in the city.
Boston will now launch a national search for a new commissioner with the hope of naming a new leader by the end of 2021, according to the mayor. Until then, Greg Long will continue serving as acting commissioner.
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