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Patrick: Hiring Of Highway Safety Director A ‘Serious Screw Up’

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BOSTON (CBS) – Governor Deval Patrick says the hiring of Sheila Burgess as the state highway safety director was a “serious screw up.”

WBZ NewsRadio 1030’s Carl Stevens reports

He told reporters Monday that he was furious when he found out that someone with her driving record had that job.

Burgess has had numerous accidents and license suspensions. She’s even been cited twice for failing to stop for a police officer.

Read: Keller @ Large: Has Transportation Really Been Reformed?

“How is the public supposed to have confidence in a person in that position with that record and that is the point and that is why she will not come back to that position,” Patrick said.

Burgess is currently on medical leave after a car accident in August. When she returns, Patrick said she will be re-assigned to a different role in the Highway Safety Division.

A Needham mother who lost her daughter in a tragic crash is also outraged by the Burgess story.

Marion Emslie’s15-year-old daughter Talia was killed in a crash on Route 495 in Hopkinton in December 1997.

“Why was she hired? Who hired her?  Was it for a political reason?  It seems like that and they should be held accountable,” she told WBZ-TV Monday.

Emslie said the governor owes the public an explanation of how Burgess had the job in the first place.

Patrick said he is looking into that.

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