Massachusetts politics have given the White House 'one of its first brushes with scandal': report

The Biden administration is facing a Boston scandal.

"Marty Walsh appointed a new police commissioner in one of his final acts as mayor, hoping to put Boston's political woes behind him. But the local drama followed Walsh to Washington, where that last-minute promotion has the new Labor secretary embroiled in a hometown scandal and scrambling to contain the fallout," Politico reported Friday. "A leadership transition gone awry inside the Boston Police Department devolved into finger-pointing between Walsh and the city's former police commissioner this week, and now Walsh's biggest labor backers in Washington have gone silent."

"Walsh is accused of turning a blind eye to allegations of domestic abuse against the man he appointed as police commissioner before he left for Washington. Walsh strenuously denies that accusation, but it's given the White House one of its first brushes with scandal," Politico explained.

It started when then-Boston Police Commissioner William Gross retired shortly after Biden had announced he had picked Walsh to run the Department of Labor. Walsh appointed then-Deputy Police Commissioner Dennis White.

"Barely two days after White was sworn in — and the night before Walsh was due in D.C. for his Senate confirmation hearing — decades-old allegations of domestic abuse, including a 1999 restraining order against White, surfaced in a Boston Globe story," Politico reported. "Walsh placed his brand new commissioner on leave and said the city would launch an investigation. The next day his office admitted the vetting process 'should have been more thorough.' The administration vetted White by conducting a Google search and reading old press releases, according to a Boston Globe report. But Gross swore in an affidavit this week there is 'no way' Walsh didn't know about White's background when he was chosen as the city's top cop."

Massachusetts politics are now playing out in DC.

"Adding fuel to the fire, Rep. Seth Moulton (D-Mass.) said Thursday that Walsh should resign if Gross is telling the truth. 'We obviously need to know all the facts about his vetting. If it turns out Secretary Walsh is lying, he should resign as well,' Moulton told the Boston Globe on Thursday. "Walsh called Moulton on Thursday about the lawmaker's attention-grabbing quote, according to four sources who declined to share the contents of the call. While Walsh told reporters Moulton misspoke, Moulton is sticking by his statement."

"Moulton's comment left some Massachusetts sources seething. They said the move was typical of the lawmaker and pushed news coverage of the controversy into another day. Moulton, who ran for president in 2020, called for the ouster of House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) several years ago," Politico noted. "Suffolk County District Attorney Rachael Rollins, a progressive prosecutor in Boston, has also waded into the controversy. Rollins told radio station GBH that Gross' account should 'trump' Walsh's statement, a stunning comment as Rollins is being considered to serve as the U.S. attorney for Massachusetts."