Michael Kineavy, a top aide to Mayor Thomas Menino under formal scrutiny after deleting thousands of City Hall emails, will go on unpaid leave at his own request, The Boston Globe reported Tuesday night.
This loss for the administration is the latest blow in the records scandal that has unfolded in the thick of a pivotal election season for Menino, who is seeking an unprecedented fifth term.
Mass. Secretary of State William Galvin ordered the recovery and release of the deleted emails last month, The Daily Free Press reported. Five thousand emails have since been recovered from one computer, and a second computer was released to be searched Tuesday, a City Hall spokeswoman told 7 News.
Menino released a statement approving of Kineavy’s leave, saying the administration appreciated his service, The Globe reported.
‘It is unfortunate that these things happen during political times but we hope this time will allow Michael to clear his name,’ the statement said. ‘The city will continue to seek out information of any deleted items from within Michael’s computers and will continue to work in cooperation with the Secretary of State’s Office in this effort.’
Opposing mayoral candidate Michael Flaherty, a current City Councilor-at-Large, has harshly criticized the Menino administration throughout his campaign for this oversight, claiming it is a cover-up.
His campaign also released a statement to The Globe reminding Bostonians of the situation’s bigger picture.
‘This isn’t about Michael Kineavy. This is about the lack of transparency and honesty throughout the Menino Administration,’ the statement said. ‘The fish rots from the head down . . . This is a breach of the public trust that must be rectified.’
Flaherty staff called on Bostonians to act Tuesday night on the campaign Twitter.
‘Boston: You have a right to know what is going on with #emailgate. Email and call the AG [Attorney General]’s office,’ the tweet said.
Kineavy has been with Menino since he first took office 16 years ago and has been a major player in policy throughout the mayor’s tenure, The Globe reported. With the Nov. 3 general election less than a month away, there is no word on who, if anyone, will replace him while he is on leave.
Look for further coverage in The Daily Free Press tomorrow.