Absences Cause Abrupt Ending To RMV Oversight Hearing

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(Mario Jarjour/WBZ NewsRadio)

BOSTON (WBZ NewsRadio) — The oversight hearing on the Massachusetts RMV Monday was over as soon as it started after some witnesses did not appear.

An investigation into the RMV began last month following a crash that killed seven motorcyclists in New Hampshire.

The Massachusetts driver accused of causing the crash — Volodymyr Zhukovsky — had been charged twice with drunk driving in Connecticut. However, the Massachusetts RMV never suspended his driver’s license.

Erin Deveney, the recently resigned head of the RMV, did not appear at Monday’s hearing, despite her expected attendance. Other requested RMV employees also were not in attendance.

The officials that did attend were MassDOT Secretary of Transportation Stephanie Pollack and acting Registrar of Motor Vehicles Jamey Tesler.

Reporters were told at the hearing that the two officials would not be answering any questions from the press.

Tesler and Pollack also avoided press questions last week after a MBTA Fiscal and Management Control Board meeting — leaving through a back door and not going to their publicly accessible offices.

Transportation Committee Co-Chair Rep. William Strauss expressed his frustration that the employees were not at the hearing.

“We have as much right as the administration, not because I say so, not because my co-chair says so, not because the Senate president says so, not because the Speaker of the House says so, but because the State Constitution says so,” Strauss said.

A motion for recess until the committee felt it had all the necessary information was approved.

Pollack was engulfed by reporters before being hustled out of the hearing room. She said the RMV is working to ensure all employees are trained.

“Everyone who works there understands the importance of its public safety functions,” Pollack said.

Pollack released her prepared testimony for the trial on Monday.

"At your request we have contacted the other individuals you requested to appear at the hearing. While we will not direct or prohibit any party from attending, we expect that only a representative from Grant Thornton will appear on Monday to speak to the scope of their engagement and the general methods that they use to conduct forensic reviews," Pollack wrote to the committee.

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WBZ NewsRadio's Karyn Regal (@Karynregal) reports

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