State highway director resigns after record is released
BOSTON (WHDH) -- State Highway Safety Director Sheila Burgess announced her resignation Wednesday, just days after her driving record showing multiple car accidents and tickets was made public.
Burgess is currently out on medical leave. Her bosses initially said when she returns she will be given another job, but now she has resigned saying her health is her first priority, ironically after a car crash this summer.
In a statement Wednesday, Gov. Deval Patrick said:
"We have made great effort to make sure our administration is staffed with committed, qualified and dedicated professionals. However, we don't always get it right, and when we don't, we fix it."
The 48-year-old once oversaw programs like the “Click It or Ticket Seat Belt” program and speeding initiatives. She was the director of highway safety for five years.
Her driving record before she was hired includes six accidents, four speeding tickets, failing to stop for police twice and a seat belt violation.
Her boss, the secretary of public safety said of Burgess today, "she should not have been hired for the position." And went on to say, "...she could not expect the public's trust if she were to continue in that position.”
“With the record that she has I think it’s very hard for her to have the- and for us to have the confidence of the public,” said Gov. Patrick.
Burgess was once a fundraising consultant for democratic representative Jim McGovern. A spokesperson told 7News that the congressman forwarded her resume to the Patrick administration, but not for any particular job.
Burgess’ resignation takes effect at the end of the year.