Marty Walsh is Joe Biden’s Secretary of Labor. Alex Acosta was Donald Trump’s for a few years.
Acosta lost his job after reports showed that he gave a sweetheart deal to Jeffrey Epstein, a pedophile. The editorial board of the Wall Street Journal suggests that Walsh might have a somewhat similar problem.
The alleged pedophile in question is the former chief of the Boston police union, Patrick Rose. He was arrested last summer on 33 counts of sexually abusing children.
Walsh’s problem is that he may have known about Rose’s criminal behavior. At a minimum, Walsh was not forthcoming in turning over records relevant to Rose’s case.
According to the Wall Street Journal’s editors:
It’s become clear that Mr. Rose’s behavior was known for years and that officials helped to keep it secret. That may have included Marty Walsh, the former union chief, former mayor of Boston and now U.S. secretary of Labor. . . .
In 1995, [Rose] was criminally charged with sexually abusing a child and placed on administrative duty. The Boston Globe reports that prosecutors in 1996 dropped the charge when the accuser “recanted his story under pressure from Rose.”
Yet a subsequent internal affairs investigation that same year concluded that the charge “was sustained.” The Globe reports that state child welfare investigators also looked into the allegation and found “reasonable cause to believe” a child was abused.
It isn’t clear how the police department responded to those findings. But in 1997 an attorney for the police union sent a letter to the police commissioner complaining that Mr. Rose had been restricted to administrative duty for two years and threatened to file a grievance. Mr. Rose was then reinstated as a patrol officer and allowed contact with children. According to prosecutors, he went on to sexually abuse at least five more minors, including when he was union president from 2014-2017. Mr. Rose has pleaded not guilty.
Walsh appears to have gone to great lengths to withhold files relevant to Rose’s case. The Journal’s editors state:
Following Mr. Rose’s arrest last summer, the [Boston] Globe filed requests for the officer’s internal affairs file, which included details of the 1995 charge, internal investigation and union response. The Walsh administration refused to release the file, saying the records could not be redacted in a way that would satisfy privacy concerns.
Even when the state supervisor of public records refuted this, the Walsh administration balked—at one point ignoring for two months the supervisor’s order that it better explain why the records should remain secret. Mr. Walsh’s successor, Acting Mayor Kim Janey, finally released a redacted version on April 20, but only after Mr. Walsh was confirmed as Labor secretary. This means the Rose story wasn’t known during Mr. Walsh’s Senate confirmation hearing.
It isn’t clear what Mr. Walsh knew or when. But the Boston Globe editorial board called it “astonishing” the “lengths to which the [Boston police] department and the now departed Walsh administration went to keep those files under wraps.” A Department of Labor spokesperson declined to comment by our deadline.
The Journal’s editors note the connection between Walsh and Rose. Walsh was the president of a Laborers’ Union local, as well as the head of the Boston Building Trades, until he ran for mayor in 2013. And “as mayor he showered unions with taxpayer money, including a contract with Mr. Rose’s police union in 2017 that resulted in a pay increase of 16% over four years.” Not surprisingly, “city employees in unions donated hundreds of thousands of dollars to his campaign.”
As the Journal says, it’s not clear what Walsh knew about Rose’s case or whether he knew anything about it at all. However, Walsh might have been in a position to know, and his administration’s foot dragging in turning over files raises questions.
As Secretary of Labor, one of Walsh’s duties is to combat union corruption. Yet, Walsh’s tenure as union chief produced charges of questionable dealings and unethical behavior.
Walsh isn’t the man to fight union corruption. That’s why Biden appointed him at the behest of union leaders like AFL-CIO president Richard Trumpka. Walsh is their man. (Biden satisfied woke leftists through his selections for jobs just below the Secretary level.)
As things stand, we’re stuck with Walsh. But if evidence emerges that he covered for a child molester, Walsh might well go the way of Alex Acosta, whose actions regarding Jeffrey Epstein were less culpable than that.