Director Of Mass. Highway Safety Division Has Lengthy Driving Record
BOSTON (CBS) – Her job is to make state roads safer but the director of Massachusetts Highway Safety Division has numerous vehicle violations to her name, including at least six traffic accidents.
Sheila Burgess’ driving record details a list of 34 infractions including speeding violations, failures to stop for a police officer, driving without registration or license in possession, and driving without wearing a seat belt.
She also failed to appear in a New Hampshire court in 2000, according to her driving record.
“I don’t know but I’m not happy about it and I’m going to get to the bottom of it,” Gov. Deval Patrick told reporters at Boston Rescue Mission Day Of Thanks Celebration Sunday.
Secretary of Public Safety Mary Elizabeth Heffernan’s spokesperson released a statement saying Burgess should have never been hired and she will not keep her position much longer.
“Given her driving record, it is clear that Ms. Burgess should not have been hired as the director of Highway Safety in 2007. While she has performed her duties properly and with professionalism, has not had any citations or at-fault accidents since she was hired and has otherwise been a solid and dependable employee, Ms. Burgess cannot expect the public’s trust, nor mine, as the directory of Highway Safety going forward,” Heffernan said. “When Ms. Burgess returns from her current medical leave, she will no longer have any role in highway safety and will be reassigned to a different role within the Executive Office.”
Until Nov. 1, her license was in indefinite “non-renew status” for failing to pay local excise taxes.
According to the Massachusetts Department of Transportation, the outstanding excise tax to Randolph had been paid and her license was active as of Sunday.
Burgess is currently on leave after sustaining a head injury after a car crash in the Blue Hills Reservation in Milton in August.
The state did not say whether she is being paid while on leave, according to a story in the Boston Globe.
Burgess was appointed to the director position in July 2007 and receives a $87,000-a-year salary.
Prior to joining Mass Highway, she was a paid consultant and congressional aide for John Joseph Moakly and Shannon O’Brien.
At Mass Highway, Burgess has established a series of programs to collect crash and citation information and make reporting from cities and towns easier.