In her latest clash with Acting Mayor Kim Janey, Boston City Councilor Andrea Campbell is pressing her political rival and fellow mayoral candidate to release findings from a newly established police watchdog that was charged with investigating the handling of child molestation allegations against a former Boston police officer.
“We’re still waiting,” Campbell said Wednesday of a report from that probe.
In response, Janey said she planned to share initial recommendations from the investigation in coming days.
The head of the newly formed Office of Police Accountability and Transparency, or OPAT, was tasked with investigating allegations against Patrick M. Rose Sr., following the release of an internal affairs file that showed he was allowed to keep his job for years after department brass knew the patrolman more than likely molested a child.
Rose, who would later serve as head of the police patrolmen’s union, would go on to abuse five more children, prosecutors say. He retired in 2018 and was arrested in August. He has pleaded not guilty and maintains his innocence, according to his lawyer.
Stephanie Everett, a Mattapan lawyer and former state government official, started her tenure as executive director of OPAT on May 3 and was tasked with producing an independent review into the Rose case within her first 45 days. Her charge was to figure out what went wrong — and how to fix it.
Outside City Hall on Wednesday, Campbell said Janey’s administration has missed its own deadline of releasing a report into the Rose allegations and the department’s handling of them.
Campbell, who has called for the US Attorney’s Office to investigate the Rose case, also asserted that Janey’s administration said that a new report regarding Rose and Boston police could not be released because OPAT has yet to be fully set up.
“That’s absolutely absurd,” Campbell said. The report from Everett’s review should be released, she said.
“There is no barrier in place right now that would restrict the administration and the acting mayor to release that report, which they committed to doing in 45 days,” she said.
Campbell, a consistent police reform advocate on the council, said the Rose case demonstrates exactly why the scandal-ridden Boston police, which is the nation’s oldest police force, needs reform. The matter, she said, “continues to be a case that has not received, I think, adequate attention and response from the acting mayor and the administration.”
Responding to Campbell’s statements, Janey said she “ended decades of silence that protected an accused child predator within BPD and directed the Office of Police Accountability and Transparency to recommend how to keep this from happening again.”
“I am committed to protecting survivors, listening to the community, and leading police reforms, like appointing the members to the OPAT [Civilian Review Board] this summer,” she said. “I hope members of the Boston City Council will do their duty to nominate members to the CRB and join me in making BPD accountable to our residents.”
Campbell’s push comes amid a crowded mayoral race. Campbell and Janey are among five major candidates vying for the city’s top elected position. Other candidates include Councilors Annissa Essaibi George and Michelle Wu, and John Barros, the city’s former economic development chief.
Campbell’s Wednesday criticism is her latest clash with Janey. At the end of June, Campbell was the only councilor to vote against both Janey’s operating budget and her budget proposal for the city’s school district. She also recently criticized Janey’s celebration of her first 100 days as acting mayor and even knocked Janey for her campaign swag on Twitter.
A June poll conducted by Suffolk University and The Boston Globe showed Wu and Janey pulling ahead of the rest of the pack in the race. In the poll, Wu garnered 23.4 percent support, Janey 21.6 percent, Essaibi George 14.4 percent, while Campbell had 10.8 percent. Barros polled at under 2 percent.
Boston police has been buffeted by scandal in recent months. Besides the Rose controversy, Janey fired police commissioner Dennis White last month, following the reemergence of decades-old domestic violence allegations against White, who has repeatedly denied wrongdoing. The department is currently led by an interim commissioner, Gregory Long.
There is also an ongoing overtime scandal connected to the Boston police evidence warehouse. At least 14 Boston police officers have been federally charged in connection with alleged overtime fraud.