The Globe reports that William "Buddy" Christopher, who until recently had been ISD commissioner, is taking a leave of absence from his new job overseeing Methadone Mile while the feds and a law firm hired by Mayor Walsh investigate just how development projects wend their way through the city approval process.
His decision to take a leave comes a week after John Lynch, a mid-level BPDA manager, agreed to plead guilty to federal bribery charges related to the way a developer won an extension from the Zoning Board of Appeal to build an 11-unit residential building on H Street in Boston - after which he then sold the project to another developer.
The Globe reports that Christopher was the original architect for the building, but that he passed the work onto his son, James, also an architect, when Mayor Walsh hired his former Savin Hill neighbor as ISD commissioner in 2014. Among its functions, ISD reviews development proposals to determine whether they comply with city zoning codes; projects that receive ISD denials then go to the ZBA.
Earlier, Christopher had worked at the city Department of Neighborhood Development - where both Lynch and developer Steven Turner also worked.
In June, Walsh gave Christopher a new position as "special advisor" in charge of figuring out what to do about the area around the intersection of Melnea Cass Boulevard and Massachusetts Avenue, where growing numbers of people addicted to opioids gather. Christopher has no background in public health or drug addiction.
Last month, Christopher presided over a contentious public meeting in the South End days after police had conducted a couple of sweeps through the area after a guard at the Suffolk County jail was attacked as he drove to work on Atkinson Street.