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Boston's new police commissioner put on leave after domestic violence allegations surface

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Kali9/iStockBy JULIA JACOBO, ABC News

(BOSTON) — The newly appointed commissioner of the Boston Police Department has been placed on administrative leave over allegations of domestic violence.

Shortly after Dennis White was sworn in as commissioner on Monday, an allegation of domestic violence from 1999 surfaced in which White’s wife accused him of pushing and hitting her, the Boston Globe reported, citing court records.

White was accused of saying he “wanted to shoot” his wife and an acquaintance after an incident at a friend’s home, ABC Boston affiliate WCVB reported.

A restraining order was issued against White on May 5, 1999, that required White to vacate his home, surrender his service weapon and stay away from his wife and family, according to WCVB. He denied the allegations at the time, according to court filings. It does not appear he was charged with a crime.

Two days after White was sworn in by Boston Mayor Marty Walsh, he was placed on administrative leave.

White was asked “to quickly step into the role” in an attempt to “create a smooth transition” and honor former Boston Police Commissioner William Gross’ desire to spend time with his family, Walsh said in a statement.

“These disturbing issues were not known to me or my staff, but should have been at the forefront,” Walsh, who is currently in Washington, D.C., for his Senate confirmation hearing for his Labor Secretary nomination, said in the statement. “Upon learning of these serious allegations, I immediately acted, placing the Commissioner on administrative leave, while corporation counsel engages outside counsel to conduct a full and impartial investigation.”

Boston mayors have the sole authority to appoint the police commissioner but often take their time in the selection, the Globe reported. Typically, a national search is conducted, as is an effort to involve the public, according to the newspaper.

Gross, who served as commissioner for more than two years and was with the department for 37 years, retired Friday, WCVB reported. White has been with the department for 32 years, previously serving as chief of staff to Gross and deputy superintendent in the Bureau of Field Services Night Command.

Superintendent-in-Chief Gregory Long will serve as acting commissioner in the meantime, Walsh said.

ABC News could not immediately reach White for comment. It is unclear whether he has retained an attorney.

ABC News’ Darren Reynolds contributed to this report.

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