Labor Secretary Marty Walsh protected records that show the Boston police union knew about sexual crimes committed by a top official who this week was convicted for raping six children.
The Monday conviction of Patrick Rose on 21 counts related to sexual assault of minors puts the spotlight on Walsh, who as Boston's mayor blocked records showing the city's police department knew about Rose's sexual crimes for decades. The records, which were released by Walsh's successor, are damaging to the city's powerful police union, which was led by the now-convicted child rapist during Walsh's tenure as mayor.
After Rose's 2020 arrest for child rape, the Boston Globe requested records of a 1995 police department investigation into sexual assault allegations against the then-patrolman. Walsh claimed he could not release the records because they would include the name of Rose's victim. But months after Walsh stepped down to join the Labor Department, the city released the records, which conceal the victim's name and show that an internal police investigation concluded Rose likely sexually assaulted a 12-year-old boy.
Patrick Semmens, vice president of the National Right to Work Legal Defense Foundation, said a more thorough investigation is still needed to determine who knew about Rose's behavior and why Walsh wanted to keep the records secret.
"It certainly calls further into question Marty Walsh's ability to oversee union transparency which he is now in charge of at the Department of Labor," Semmens told the Washington Free Beacon.
The Department of Labor did not respond to a request for comment.
Rose was not the only accused abuser at the Boston Police Department about whom Walsh withheld information. A Boston police officer swore in an affidavit that Walsh was aware of domestic abuse allegations against former police commissioner Dennis White when the former mayor appointed him to the position. Walsh suspended White after the Globe reported on the accusations, but the mayor claimed he was unaware of the allegations. The Globe sought additional police records into White's alleged abuse, but Walsh spiked the request.
Walsh delayed an investigation into White, which was released one day after a Senate panel advanced Walsh's appointment as head of the Labor Department. Then-Suffolk County district attorney Rachael Rollins (D.), who now serves as Biden's U.S. attorney for the District of Massachusetts, publicly accused Walsh of either "lying" or committing gross incompetence over the White scandal.
The records on Rose show the union fought to have him taken off desk duty after the investigation into his sexual assault. The Boston Police Patrolmen's Association threatened to file a grievance on his behalf, according to the records. He went on to work as an officer for more than two decades, eventually becoming president of the police union from 2014 to 2017, before his retirement in 2018.
Rose pleaded guilty to 21 counts of child rape and sexual assault and was sentenced to 10 to 13 years in prison as well as 10 years of probation. Most of the crimes stem back to the 1990s, according to prosecutors, who also said the original 1995 charges investigated by the department were dropped after Rose intimidated the victim.
The Globe reported that Rose as an officer continued to be in contact with vulnerable children, including a 14-year-old girl who called police to say she was raped and a special needs child whom he drove home.