December 7, 2012

Mass. admits error in highway official's hiring

The Associated Press

BOSTON – Massachusetts Public Safety Secretary Mary Beth Heffernan was one of two people who former highway safety director Sheila Burgess said referred her to the job, but Heffernan said Friday that Burgess should never have been hired given her spotty record.

Burgess was removed from the highway safety job last month. Her personal driving record includes multiple accidents, traffic violations and license suspensions.

In August, she sustained a head injury in a crash while driving a state vehicle.

Gov. Deval Patrick, who has described Burgess' hiring as a "screw-up," also said in a Friday statement that Burgess should not have been hired.

The highway safety director's duties include overseeing public campaigns on the dangers of speeding, impaired driving, texting while driving and not wearing seat belts.

Heffernan said in a statement Friday that Burgess' driving record and criminal record were checked, but the driving information was not shown to the hiring manager at the time.

"Had the hiring manager been aware of the record, Ms. Burgess would not have been offered this job," Heffernan said.

Where the job application asked who referred her for employment, Burgess listed Heffernan and U.S. Rep. James McGovern, who had employed her as a fund-raising consultant.

 

Were you interviewed for this story? If so, please fill out our accuracy form

Send question/comment to the editors




Further Discussion

Here at PressHerald.com we value our readers and are committed to growing our community by encouraging you to add to the discussion. To ensure conscientious dialogue we have implemented a strict no-bullying policy. To participate, you must follow our Terms of Use.

Questions about the article? Add them below and we’ll try to answer them or do a follow-up post as soon as we can. Technical problems? Email them to us with an exact description of the problem. Make sure to include:
  • Type of computer or mobile device your are using
  • Exact operating system and browser you are viewing the site on (TIP: You can easily determine your operating system here.)