The fate of embattled Boston Police Commissioner Dennis White could move one step closer to resolution Wednesday in a hearing with acting Mayor Kim Janey, which will be closed to the public.
“Right now, we’re going to get through this hearing, we’re going to hear from Commissioner White and do our due diligence moving forward,” Janey told GBH News’ Boston Public Radio hosts Jim Braude and Margery Eagan during a Tuesday appearance.
Janey declined to say who would lead the police department if White is fired.
Janey’s reticence on the matter comes after her first attempt to dismiss White was thwarted by a lawsuit which led to two separate courts giving her administration the legal clearance to hold an internal dismissal hearing for White.
Wednesday's hearing will proceed, Janey said, despite new video affidavits from White’s daughter and sister-in-law suggesting that White’s ex-wife, who brought domestic violence allegations and secured a restraining order against him in the late 1990s, was the aggressor within their marriage.
“My team is looking at these videos as we speak, and we will certainly consider all information. I'm not sure why this information was not captured in the investigation where folks had an ample opportunity to make their case,” said Janey referring to the city-commissioned independent investigation into domestic violence allegations against White.
White’s daughter, Tiffany White, has previously stated that the allegations brought by her mother against her father are false.
Janey said that two issues still give her pause: White’s own admission to the city's independent investigator that he slapped a 19-year-old niece who kicked him during a disagreement over money and White’s lack of cooperation with the independent investigator.
“At this point, it is time to move forward and we need to have leadership in our department that would not reinforce the blue wall of silence,” Janey said. “So, we will have a hearing tomorrow to hear what the commissioner has to say, certainly to take into account the video presentations that he has and then we will move forward.”
In response, White’s attorney released yet another pair of video affidavits in which White details the vetting of his internal affairs files during his promotions, the other in which retired Boston Police Superintendent Frank Mancini, former chief of the BPD’s professional standards bureau, attested to White’s vetting before he was promoted to the force’s command staff in 2014.
White said he told former Mayor Marty Walsh directly about his past restraining order and domestic violence allegations prior to being promoted to the rank of commissioner.
“I mentioned I had a restraining order put on me with false allegations that I threatened to shoot somebody,” White says in the video affidavit when asked by his attorney what he shared with the mayor about his divorce.
“So [Walsh] knew about the restraining order?” the attorney asks.
“Oh, yes,” says White on the video.
That dispute may be fodder for future litigation where White could argue his termination was wrongful since he was promoted to BPD leadership despite the city’s knowledge of what was contained within his internal affairs files.
In his video testimony, White went on to say he and Walsh spoke on May 14, the day Janey originally intended to remove White from the commissioner post.
“This is going to cost the city a lot of money if she does that to you,” White said Walsh told him that day.
“[Walsh] apologized [for] what I was going through, he stated he had spoken to acting Mayor Janey the night before and was like ‘you can’t do this to this man,’" White said in his latest video statement.
Walsh, now U.S. Labor Secretary, has vehemently denied knowing about the domestic violence allegations against White ever since White was first placed on administrative leave two days after Walsh appointed him.