It was 1971, and trash companies were angling for a lucrative prize: a new round of contracts with Boston. A representative from one outfit, eager to bolster its chances, spoke with a friend of Mayor Kevin White, who suggested that a contribution to White’s upcoming campaign would “be a good move.” The contract, the friend added, did not have to go to the lowest bidder.
When the individual met with White in his City Hall office, according to allegations detailed in the former mayor’s newly released FBI file, he allegedly gave White an envelope with $5,000 cash and a promise of $5,000 more.
White took the money, the individual told FBI investigators, and noted that other contractors had not done the “right thing.” Calling them “sons of bitches,” White vowed that he would “fix them.”
White was never charged with wrongdoing. But the allegations, which spurred a 1975 FBI inquiry into alleged bid-rigging by the White administration, emerged in new detail Wednesday after MuckRock, a website devoted to open records, posted White’s FBI file.
The group, which is independent but works in The Boston Globe’s media lab, received the 500-page file after lodging a public records request in February. White, who served as mayor from 1968 to 1984 and is credited with leading the city through the school busing crisis, died in January at age 82.
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