MassDOT Lawyers Withheld Thousands of Documents in RMV Audit
BOSTON – The MassDOT has come under fire once again after lawyers for the agency reportedly withheld 53k documents from auditors, per the Boston Herald.
The MassDOT is currently being investigated due to their failure to suspend the license of Volodymyr Zhukovskyy, a truck driver who killed seven bikers in a New Hampshire crash. A month prior, Zhukovskyy was arrested for driving under the influence in Connecticut.
After the MassDOT failed to suspend Zhukovskyy’s license following notification from the state of Connecticut about the drunk driving incident, Gov. Charlie Baker and Transportation Secretary Stephanie Pollack called for an audit of the RMV’s failures.
Now, former state inspector general Greg Sullivan is asking Gov. Charlie Baker to turn the audit over to the inspector general’s office.
“That fact that 53,000 documents were withheld and not reviewed makes a glaring argument for further investigation,” Sullivan said.
Those missing documents were made obvious following the release of the 106-page investigative report conducted by the auditing firm Grant Thornton. The report was released on Friday by the MassDOT. According to MassDOT lawyers, the documents that were withheld were deemed “privileged."
The audit conducted by Grant Thornton found the RMV's “long-standing policy of not prioritizing the processing of out-of-state notifications” to be a problem. They also made 19 recommendations.
State Rep. Shaunna O’Connell is also outraged by the missing documents.
“The more info we have about what’s going on in the RMV, the better,” O’Connell said. “I think the taxpayers have a right to know.”
If Gov. Charlie Baker does decide to have the inspector general’s office look into the MassDOT’s actions, Sullivan points out that they have the authority to look into the “privileged” documents.
“They could contain highly significant information that should be reviewed,” Sullivan said.
Meanwhile, Gov. Baker called the audit "terrific" on Monday during a meeting.
"The Grant Thornton report made clear that this problem with the interstate stuff had been going on in Massachusetts on an inconsistent basis and in other states for a very long time," Baker said.
"That's a major fail on everybody's part, and I said so the second I learned about it, which is why we put so much work into cleaning it up once we became aware of it."