Earlier this month, Sheila Burgess, the former head of Massachusetts Highway Safety was forced to resign her position after her poor driving record was made public. She has now also resigned from Governor Deval Patrick’s administration, citing health reasons.
Burgess’ eligibility for the position of Massachusetts’ top highway safety official was questioned by the Boston Globe, which published a report clearly showing that her driving record made her unfit for the job of highway safety director.
The Globe found that she had had 34 entries on her driving record since 1982 alone. Her license was considered nonrenewable, because she had not paid local taxes. According to the Boston Globe report, her record includes at least 7 accidents, and several speeding violations.
There seem to have been no safety rules that Burgess did not break before she was appointed director of Massachusetts Highway Safety. She had at least one citation for driving without a seatbelt, one for driving without registration or license, and at least 2 failures to stop for a police officer. In at least one instance, she was pulled over for speeding, but did not bother to show up for her hearing.
The Boston Globe report raised questions about Burgess’ eligibility for her position as one of the top transportation safety officials in Massachusetts. As part of her duties, she would have been responsible for oversight of the public campaigns that are conducted regularly to increase motorist safety, encouraging seatbelt usage, and prevention of drunk driving, texting while driving and speeding.
With her record now public knowledge, state officials admit that she should never have been hired for the position.