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Walsh team recycled old Menino statement in Evans announcement

If there was a honeymoon period between freshly minted Mayor Martin J. Walsh and the city’s press corps, it was jolted Tuesday night.

On his second night in office, the Walsh administration seemingly bungled the announcement that acting police Commissioner William Evans was being named to the permanent post.

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While he has made some Cabinet appointments, Walsh had been tight-lipped about his plans for police chief. Around 9 p.m. on Tuesday, veteran WCVB political reporter Janet Wu broke the news that Evans would be getting the permanent gig and that the official announcement would come on Thursday.

With the appointment leaked, Walsh’s staff issued a statement just before 10 p.m. confirming the appointment, but including the same language and quote used in former mayor Thomas M. Menino’s Nov. 1 announcement naming Evans as interim chief — an apparent copy-and-paste that was first noticed and reported by Boston Magazine’s Steve Annear.

The November release quoted Menino as saying:

“The Boston Police Department will be in great hands under the leadership of Bill Evans. He knows how to manage his team of talented officers, has the respect of the rank and file, and has proven his ability to diffuse even the most difficult of public safety situations.”

Last night’s release included the same quote, this time attributed to Walsh.

With political media swirling, Walsh’s spokeswoman, Kate Norton, issued a second statement around 1 a.m. this morning, in which the administration apologized for reusing the old statement.

“The release distributed earlier about Commissioner Evans’ appointment was inadvertently sent in error,” Norton said in the statement. “It contained text from a previous press release announcing Commissioner Evans’ appointment as Interim Commissioner, that was not updated ahead of distribution. I apologize for any confusion this error has caused.”

Wesley Lowery can be reached at wesley.lowery@globe.com. Follow him on Twitter @WesleyLowery.
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