Gov. Patrick announces big changes in cabinet
BOSTON (WHDH) -- Gov. Deval Patrick announced Thursday that four cabinet secretaries will be departing his administration and that he is recruiting the best talent to replace them. His Republican critics say they are happy to see one of them step down.
“I am proud of their accomplishments and to have worked alongside them and I will miss them,” said Gov. Patrick.
The exit of Health and Human services Secretary JudyAnn Bigby has drawn the most attention. She has been under fire for the handling of the two major scandals involving the state drug lab and the deadly meningitis outbreak that started here in the commonwealth. Republican leaders have called for her to step down.
“Her administrative skills seem to be sadly lacking in this case so it’s time for new leadership in that department so I’m very happy to see that happen,” said Rep. Betty Poirier, Republican Minority Whip.
But the Governor insisted Bigby is not being pushed out.
“I think she's been fabulous and I would hang on to her if I could,” said Gov. Patrick.
“I feel like what we’ve been able to achieve in six years is extraordinary under the governor’s leadership and I will always value the opportunity to have served the commonwealth,” said Bigby.
Bigby is being replaced by John Polanowicz, president of St. Elizabeth's Hospital. Administration and Finance Secretary Jay Gonzalez is replaced by his deputy, Glen Shor.
Education Secretary Paul Reville is replaced by Brockton Schools Superintendent Matthew Malone, a Republican. And Suffolk County Sheriff Andrea Cabral will take over for outgoing Public Safety secretary Mary Beth Heffernan.
Privately, administration staffers said anyone deserves blame for the state drug lab scandal it is John Auerbach who resigned earlier this year, not JudyAnn Bigby.