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Some of Boston’s top-paid police officers have checkered pasts

Boston police officers stood behind a barricade during a protest against police brutality, Sunday, June 7, 2020.Steven Senne/Associated Press

A Globe review of the Boston Police Department’s top-paid officers found several have checkered histories.

The highest-paid member of the force, Lieutenant Timothy Kervin, was found by an internal probe in 2007 to have committed payroll abuse and police leaders announced then they were moving to fire him. He had 191 violations in all, including 68 counts of inaccurate reporting on a paid, off-duty detail card, which helped him collect $237,272 of pay in 2005 — more than any other city official that year.

But for reasons not entirely clear, Kervin wasn’t fired; instead he served a four-month suspension. And last year, records show, he was once again the department’s highest-paid employee, earning $355,538, including $115,361 in overtime pay, in 2019. He made another $41,360 in off-duty details, which are paid by private companies, and earned $35,492 in city money via education incentives.


Kervin, who serves as vice president of the Boston Police Superior Officers Federation union, was one of more than two dozen police officers who earned more than $300,000 last year.

Meanwhile, John “Jack” Danilecki, the city’s second-highest-paid official last year at $348,055, is currently the subject of an internal department investigation regarding his conduct during last year’s Straight Pride Parade in Boston, a police department spokesman said.

Various videos appeared to show him acting aggressively toward seemingly peaceful protesters. In one video, Danilecki can be seen pulling the mask from a protester’s face. In another, he can be seen pushing a protester to the ground.

Records reviewed by the Globe, however, show Danilecki received a department commendation for his actions that day for leading a team of officers who “put themselves in harm’s way” and were able to keep opposing protesters from clashing.

Also among the top-10 highest-paid officers:

  • At least two others have been accused of using excessive force in federal lawsuits. Those cases were ultimately dismissed.
  • Another officer — Windell Josey, who took home $325,187 in 2019 — was charged 11 years earlier with assaulting his girlfriend while working as a member of the BPD’s domestic violence unit. Court records show that the charges were ultimately dismissed by a judge in April 2008, though a police spokesman said an internal affairs investigation sustained charges against Josey, and he was suspended without pay.

Each of the officers declined to comment, according to a police department spokesman. Union officials also either declined to comment or did not respond to messages.


Dugan Arnett can be reached at dugan.arnett@globe.com.