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Walsh places new police commissioner on leave after past domestic violence allegation surfaces

The move follows Globe inquiries into allegations that the commissioner pushed and threatened to shoot his former wife

Jim Davis/Globe Staff
Dennis White was sworn in as police commissioner Monday. Jim Davis / The Boston Globe

Boston Mayor Martin J. Walsh placed newly appointed Police Commissioner Dennis White on leave Wednesday night and said the city would hire an outside group to conduct an investigation following Globe inquiries about the handling of a 1999 allegation of domestic violence involving White.

The announcement came just two days after White, a veteran officer little known outside the department, was sworn in as the 43rd commissioner of the country’s oldest police force, replacing William Gross, who abruptly retired last Friday.

In a statement Wednesday night, Walsh said he appointed Superintendent-in-Chief Gregory Long to serve as acting commissioner while the city hires an outside lawyer “to conduct a full and impartial investigation” into allegations that White pushed and threatened to shoot his then-wife, also a Boston police officer, and was later ordered to stay away from his family.

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