Sworn in by Gov. Healey, Auditor DiZoglio Says Role is Deeper Than Analyzing State Money

State Auditor Diana DiZoglio, left, with one hand placed on a Bible held by her mother, Kelly Byrnes, and Gov. Maura Healey administering the oath of office. (WHAV News photograph.)

Massachusetts’ new state Auditor Diana DiZoglio was formally sworn in by Gov. Maura Healey last night in Methuen, saying her new job is not just about scrutinizing state spending, but also making sure government is efficient, accountable and get things done.

DiZoglio, who chose not to run for re-election to the state Senate and, instead, successfully sought the statewide job, said her role is also to make sure local businesses get their fair share of state contracts, residents receive streamlined services that include more places to live, not having “mile-long waits” for elderly housing and “safe, reliable transportation.” DiZoglio repeatedly pointed to her own experiences before becoming a legislator as her inspiration.

“I worked in Haverhill at various nonprofits, mostly at after-school programs—at places like Girls Inc. and United Teen Equality Center in Lowell. During these years, I had a full-time job…because like many other hardworking families know, even if you work two or three jobs, it can still be a real struggle to access affordable, quality housing, education, healthcare or even reliable transportation to be able to get to those jobs,” she said.

DiZoglio added her team will include those with “lived experience” in subject matters her office oversees, serve what she called “Gen-C”—the COVID-19 generation of students and put in place a 17-point “social justice and equity audit plan” to create systems and processes to make sure veterans, survivors of domestic abuse, disabled children, single parents and others don’t fall through any cracks.

The inauguration was notable for putting forward women holding powerful positions in state and federal government. Governor’s Councilor Eileen Duff served as master of ceremonies, state Rep. Vanna Howard welcomed guests, state Sen. Lydia Edwards and U.S. Congresswoman Lori Trahan gave remarks and Healey administered the oath of office. The governor acknowledged the cross section of community—from student performers and Gold Star families to Brownie troops and Junior ROTC color guards—represented at the inauguration.

“The joy. The diversity of experience. Young people, with whom I had the pleasure of hanging out with for several minutes in the back. You probably heard us. I apologize. But that is just so what Diana DiZoglio is all about. It does not surprise me the way she has put this ceremony together, compile it and celebrate our young people, to celebrate lived experience, to celebrate the richness and fabric of our community. It is wonderful to be here tonight at Methuen High School to celebrate our new auditor, Diana DiZoglio,” the governor said.

DiZoglio shared her self-deprecating humor, telling Healey—the former captain of the Harvard women’s basketball team—she also helped Methuen High girls basketball team win the state championship in 1999. “That never would have happened had I not gotten cut from the team that year. You’re welcome.”

She also reiterated her pledge to make government transparent and accountable, relating the story of how she was sexually harassed as a young legislative aid and forced to sign a non-disclosure agreement to force her silence.

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