BOSTON (AP) — Boston's mayor is defending his administration's decision to award a $1 million, no-bid contract to retired Army Gen. Stanley McChrystal's consulting firm to help with the city's coronavirus response.

Democratic Mayor Marty Walsh tells WGBH News that the McChrystal Group was retained to bring a military-style approach to coordinating and communicating among city agencies during the pandemic.

Documents obtained by the radio station show eight people from the Alexandria, Virginia-based firm worked with Boston, none with public health expertise.

Walsh maintained the administration couldn't follow the traditional public bidding process because of the urgency.

“This isn’t the typical no-bid contract,” he told the station. “This is where we had literally ten days before coronavirus just exploded all over.”

Walsh's office announced the McChrystal contract in late March, but the city has offered few details about the firm's work.

The administration said the work will likely be reimbursed by the Federal Emergency Management Agency, along with other virus-related expenses.

McChrystal commanded U.S. forces in Afghanistan during President Barack Obama’s administration.

Boston had awarded about $12 million in emergency contracts for its coronavirus response as of mid-June, the station reported.



The governing body of high school sports in Massachusetts has pushed back the start of the fall sports season until mid-September, but said the decision on whether to hold the fall season will depend on state government and health officials.

The Massachusetts Interscholastic Athletic Association Board of Directors, based on the recommendation of its COVID-19 task force, voted Tuesday to push back the start of fall sports until at least Sept. 14.

Practices originally were scheduled to begin Aug. 21 for football, and Aug. 24 for all other sports.

One reason the start date was pushed back was to allow administrators to get schools up and running again before worrying about sports.

The board also approved a recommendation to suspend its postgame handshake protocol.