Highway Safety Honcho Has Abysmal Driving Record

Massachusetts' Sheila Burgess will be reassigned

By Evann Gastaldo,  Newser Staff

Posted Nov 19, 2012 11:04 AM CST

(Newser) – Well, this is embarrassing: The Massachusetts highway safety director's driving record includes an impressive seven accidents, four speeding tickets, and two failures to stop for a cop—all in all, there are 34 entries on her record. Is it any wonder Governor Deval Patrick's administration has decided to remove her from the position? Sheila Burgess, who has held the post since 2007, is tasked with "reduc[ing] accidents by promoting good driving practices," the Boston Globe reports. She's currently on medical leave to recover from her most recent car accident; Patrick's office announced that she would be removed yesterday after the Globe publicized her driving record.

“Given her driving record, it is clear that Ms. Burgess should not have been hired as the director of Highway Safety in 2007,” said the state's public safety secretary in a statement. Burgess, who had no experience in public safety or transportation when hired, may have gotten the job thanks to her fundraising links to Congressman James McGovern. He asked Patrick to hire her in 2007, but didn't suggest the specific role. She'll now be moved to a different position within the Office of Public Safety and Security. In her defense, the Globe notes that none of Burgess' moving violations have occurred since she was appointed to the $87,000-a-year director job.

  (Shutterstock)
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