Senator Still Focused on Baker’s Knowledge of RMV Woes; Calls for ‘a Lot More Hearings’

Gov. Charlie Baker and Lt. Gov. Karyn Polito. (Courtesy photograph from State House News Service)

A key state senator is calling for “a lot more hearings” to probe the Registry of Motor Vehicles scandal as he renews scrutiny on Gov. Charlie Baker’s insistence that he only learned about years of systemic problems in the wake of a fatal crash.

Sen. Eric Lesser told WCVB in a Sunday interview that the committee has much more work to do to continue its legislative inquiry. The panel held a seven-hour oversight hearing in July but did not meet publicly in August.

Lesser said he wants the investigation to look closely at the Baker administration's role in the Registry’s failure for years to process out-of-state driving violations that should have resulted in license suspensions.

“One of the things I’m particularly interested in finding out is: what did the governor know, and when did he know it, about the issues at the RMV, about the, frankly, gross mismanagement?” Lesser said during the interview. “Was there, for example, an overemphasis on the customer-facing elements of the RMV, reducing the wait times—which were worthy goals that the Legislature supported—but in focusing on those customer-oriented elements, did they take their eye off the ball in the back-end safety issues?”

“Those are the important questions we don’t have the full answers to yet,” Lesser said.

Both Baker and his transportation secretary, Stephanie Pollack, have said they only learned the RMV was not handling those responsibilities after a West Springfield man who previously should have had his license suspended based on an arrest in Connecticut allegedly killed seven motorcyclists—including a former Haverhill man—in a June 21 crash.

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