August 20, 2021
City Councillor Annissa Essaibi George this week accused Acting Mayor Kim Janey of “weaponizing” the position as the Sept. 14 preliminary election for the top job in City Hall gets closer.
Essaibi George lit into Janey on Thursday, saying she agreed with a fellow city councillor’s formal demand for an accounting of how the acting mayor is handling public records requests.
Attorney General Maura Healey has filed a lawsuit against the Boston Police Department, over the internal affairs files of former police commissioner Dennis White, while the Boston Globe has filed its own lawsuit against the administration over its refusal to release the White files and those of Patrick Rose, a former officer accused of molesting children in the 1990s.
The Globe has also noted that while Janey’s office released up to 18 months of calendars for mayoral candidates who worked at City Hall, “the administration produced only a fraction of Janey’s records, and nothing since she became acting mayor,” while releasing the calendars of the councillors who are running for mayor. The Globe reported that Janey also received a heads-up on other press inquiries.
Essaibi George, a Dorchester city councillor at-large who launched her campaign for mayor earlier this year, said “it shouldn’t take Council mandates or media lawsuits to get public documents.”
“Boston deserves to know—especially when the Acting Mayor is weaponizing her office to undermine her fellow candidates' work, record and character,” she added on Twitter, the social networking site. “I am calling on the Acting Mayor to stop playing hide and seek and make these documents public immediately.”
Asked about Essaibi George’s comment, a Janey administration spokesperson directed the Reporter to the campaign.
Kirby Chandler, Janey’s campaign manager, said that the acting mayor released documents associated with the Rose case, and is staffing the Office of Police Accountability and Transparency.
“She reversed 25 years of secrecy and is tearing down the ‘blue wall of silence’ while standing up for victims of child sexual assault and domestic violence,” Chandler said in an emailed statement.
District 8 City Councillor Kenzie Bok this week filed a 17F request, a maneuver that allows councillors to obtain records from the mayor’s office. She asked for the acting mayor’s practices for responding to public records requests, and which ones Janey’s office hasn’t responded to.
During Wednesday’s council meeting, Bok said Janey’s administration has shown a “worrying pattern” on transparency, with public records requests delayed or ignored despite deadlines spelled out under law.