The fight between Acting Mayor Kim Janey and suspended Boston Police Commissioner Dennis White over White’s future as leader of the police department has moved to a new legal arena.
White’s attorneys, Nicholas B. Carter and Tara D. Dunn, filed paperwork with the Massachusetts Appeals Court asking a single justice to review a Superior Court ruling that set the stage for Janey to dismiss White from the commissioner’s job.
White’s lawyers wrote in court papers that Superior Court Judge Heidi Brieger got it wrong when she sided with Janey and ruled the acting mayor can remove White without holding a mini-trial where witnesses would testify under oath and White could cross-examine them.
“Commissioner White requests that the Single Justice of the Appeals Court reverse the Superior Court’s decision insofar as it fails to order a trial-like hearing, [to] order that such a hearing occur in an appropriate venue prior to Commissioner White’s termination, with commissioner White being afforded the opportunity to present witnesses and to cross-examine any adverse witnesses,” the attorneys wrote.
A hearing date has not been set.
Janey, who has hired private attorneys Kay M. Hodge and John M. Simon to represent the city in the litigation, has also not filed her response.
According to attorneys not involved in the case, the Appeals Court judge assigned to the case can decide the issue on the submitted paperwork or by holding a public hearing and listening to lawyers.
White was appointed commissioner by former Mayor Martin J. Walsh shortly before Walsh left to become US Secretary of Labor in the Biden administration. Walsh has vehemently denied knowing about White’s history of alleged domestic violence in the 1990s, although former Commissioner William Gross wrote in a sworn affidavit that he shared that information with Walsh before the promotion was made.