Officials ask former officer Donnelly to be de-certified after investigation reveals white supremacist activity



Mayor Scott Galvin and Chief Robert F. Rufo Jr. announced Friday the completion of a Woburn Police Department internal affairs investigation that found former Officer John Donnelly violated multiple department policies through involvement in extremist groups, culminating in his work attending and helping to plan the so-called “Unite the Right” rally in Charlottesville, Va., in 2017.

Donnelly resigned the Woburn Police Department on Monday.

The findings of the internal affairs investigation will now be submitted to the Massachusetts Peace Officer Standards and Training Commission with the recommendation that Donnelly be de-certified and be no longer eligible to work as a police officer in the Commonwealth of Massachusetts.

The investigation, conducted by Detective Lieutenant Brian McManus, found the following:

• Donnelly went under the alias Johnny O’Malley in person and online.
• Donnelly did indeed attend, help plan and provide security for leadership of the Charlottesville event.
• Donnelly was found to associate himself with Identity Evropa, described by the Anti-Defamation League as “a white supremacist group focused on the preservation of ‘white American culture” and promoting white European identity” that recruited largely on college campuses. The group changed its name to the American Identity Movement after the Charlottesville rally and later disbanded.
• Donnelly used racist and antisemitic language.
• Donnelly was seen in photographs as part of the security detail for Richard Spencer, described by the ADL as a white nationalist alt-right leader who was a promoter and scheduled speaker at the Charlottesville event.

Based on the findings, the internal affairs investigation found that Donnelly violated a number of Woburn Police Department Rules and Regulations including policies governing Membership in Organizations, Outside Employment, Conduct Unbecoming and Officer and Improper Associations, as well as violations of the Woburn Police Department Social Media Policy.

PD stated that Donnelly refused to be interviewed by Detective Lieutenant McManus.

Middlesex District Attorney Marian Ryan announced last week that all pending and closed cases involving Donnelly will be thoroughly reviewed.


  1. Hilda Sanchez

    October 22, 2022 at 7:50 pm

    Typical white trash……

  2. Fed Up

    October 22, 2022 at 9:08 pm

    Great job vetting potential officers Woburn PD. And please refrain from anything the ADL says their credibility leaves a lot to be desired.

  3. SJW

    October 23, 2022 at 6:49 am

    Full investigation needed. Who were his friends on the force? Birds of a feather and this is indicative of a much bigger problem within that department. Racism in any form, especially among Trumpets, needs to be criminalized and prosecuted,

    #defundthepolice #defundfrpd

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