State highway director reassigned due to driving record
BOSTON (WHDH) -- The highway safety director has been reassigned after the recent revelation of her lengthy driving record.
Highway Safety Director Sheila Burgess has such a bad driving record, some would argue whether she should even be behind the wheel. Her record is pages long, and her license is active but it's tagged for non-renewal.
Burgess has been the state's top highway safety officer since 2007. Ironically, her driving record is four pages long, which has many asking how she got the job in the first place.
"I don't know the answer to that and frankly we haven't been able to find the answer to that, that's why I say it was a pretty serious screw up,” said Governor Deval Patrick.
Since 1983 Burgess has been in six accidents, racked up four speeding tickets, two failures to stop for a police officer and one seat belt violation. Not to mention parking tickets.
The Secretary of Public Safety and Security, Mary Elizabeth Heffernan released a statement, saying, "Given her driving record, it is clear that Ms. Burgess should not have been hired as the Director of Highway Safety in 2007."
7News asked the governor if the state trying to figure out why Burgess was hired.
"Ah, I would like to figure that out, there was a lot of those documents that have been destroyed in the normal course," Gov. Patrick said.
There could be some politics involved; Burgess used to serve as a fundraising consultant for Democratic Representative Jim McGovern. And he helped get her the job, even though she had no former experience for the position.
A spokesperson for McGovern told 7News that, “In 2007, Sheila was looking for other opportunities and Jim forwarded her resume to the incoming Patrick administration for consideration - not for any particular job, but with a general recommendation.
Burgess is currently on medical leave. She was in a car accident in August where she drove off the road and hit her head. She told police she swerved to miss another car.
"If there's another position she can do, then we should look at that -- that's a fair thing to do," Gov. Patrick said.