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Two Boston officers on leave after sexual harassment allegations

Two veteran Boston police officers have been placed on paid administrative leave as the department investigates separate incidents, a spokesman said Thursday.

Captain Timothy J. Murray, 57, who is assigned to the police details section, was placed on leave Wednesday, and Lieutenant Stephen C. Cawley, 54, who is assigned to the force’s evidence unit, has been on leave since Monday, said Officer James Kenneally, a department spokesman.

Murray has been a Boston police officer since 1983 and Cawley since 1986, Kenneally said. He could not comment on the allegations or on the men’s disciplinary records.

A law enforcement official who was briefed on the allegations said Murray and Cawley are both accused of sexual harassment against female department employees. The official requested anonymity because the official was not authorized to speak on the matter.


No one answered a phone number listed for Murray on Thursday evening. A man who answered a number for Cawley told a reporter, “No comment. Don’t call back.”

Representatives and an attorney for the Boston Police Superior Officers Federation, of which Murray and Cawley are members, did not respond to voice messages and e-mail requests for comment late Thursday afternoon.

Murray led the department’s cold case squad in the 1990s and commanded the District B-3 station in Mattapan in the 2000s. In 2005, he received the George L. Hanna Medal of Honor, the state’s highest award for bravery by law enforcement officers, after he exposed himself to gunfire to protect a fellow officer responding to a Dorchester home invasion in 2004.

He is also one of the top earners among Boston employees, taking home $361,000 last year, according to the city’s payroll database. Mayor Martin J. Walsh was paid $165,000.

Cawley joined the department after serving four years in the Air Force and was promoted to sergeant in 1996. He was appointed to the department’s hostage negotiations team in 2000, according to a document from the Massachusetts Civil Service Commission.


Following a November 2000 internal affairs investigation, Cawley admitted that while on duty supervising a paid detail in September 2000, and on duty as a patrol supervisor the next month, he “left his assignment to engage in sexual conduct with a female,” according to the document.

Cawley then agreed to a 30-day suspension, with 10 days served and 20 suspended after he did not engage in further misconduct in the year following the settlement.

In 2008, the Civil Service Commission dismissed an appeal from Cawley after he was passed over for a promotion.

It found that the department had a “reasonable justification” — the incidents of sexual misconduct — for denying Cawley a promotion to the rank of lieutenant, and that “his behavior evidenced a total lack of judgment and inability to supervise.”

Maria Cramer and Evan Allen of the Globe staff contributed to this report. Jeremy C. Fox can be reached at Follow him on Twitter @jeremycfox.