The Boston Globe has placed a well-known columnist on paid administrative leave pending a review of his work following allegations that he may have fabricated details of his personal involvement on the day of the Boston Marathon bombings in 2013.
"The integrity of each of our journalists is fundamental to our organization," the Globe said in an editor's note Friday afternoon. "In light of questions that have publicly surfaced, Kevin Cullen has been placed on paid administrative leave while a thorough examination, involving a third party with expertise, is done of his work."
The paper promised to be transparent with the results of its review.
WEEI reported on Thursday that despite Cullen's reporting that suggested he was on Boylston Street when the bombs went off five years ago, he was actually nowhere near the scene.
In a column on April 14 describing how the city has healed since the attack that ultimately left five dead and more than 260 others injured, Cullen wrote, "I can smell Patriots Day, 2013. I can hear it. God, can I hear it, whenever multiple fire engines or ambulances are racing to the scene."
However, during a 2013 panel for the Association for Education in Journalism and Mass Communication, Cullen said he wasn't near the scene when the bombing occurred.
WEEI's report also claims that Cullen fabricated other accounts of the bombing and its immediate aftermath to the BBC.
"We take seriously any credible assertion about the integrity of our journalism," Boston Globe spokeswoman Jane Bowman said in a statement Friday. "We are conducting a review, and if the record needs to be corrected in any way, we will do so forthrightly."
According to his Globe bio, Cullen, 58, was part of the team that won the Pulitzer Prize in 2003 for its coverage of the Catholic church sexual abuse scandal and part of the team that won the Pulitzer for breaking news in 2014 for its coverage of the marathon bombings. He is the co-author of the New York Times bestseller "Whitey Bulger," and was named best columnist by the American Society of Newspaper Editors in 2014.