RMV malfeasance paints an ugly picture

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There’s been another nationwide search, and as always, the hacks have found exactly what they were looking for.

In this case, a scapegoat.

That’s the bottom line of the “shocking” new report issued Friday afternoon about the gross incompetence at the Registry of Motor Vehicles (RMV) that led to the deaths of seven motorcyclists in New Hampshire at the hands of a foreign career criminal who should not have been driving, given his infractions.

An outside firm, Grant Thornton, has now identified a culprit, who viewed the Breathalzyer notification from Connecticut about Voldymyr Zhhukovskyy, a Ukrainian national residing in West Springfield.

A 12-year Registry employee, one Michael Noronha, looked at the message from Connecticut for seven seconds, then moved on. His explanation, according to the report: “He had not received training on posting convictions and withdrawals and would not have known how to do so.”

In other words, it was not his job.

Odd, though, how the guy taking the brunt of the blame is the lowest paid of the RMV bunch – Noronha makes just $58,401 a year. The report is standard bureaucratic boilerplate, but it’s instructive of life in the hackerama.

For instance, in a cover letter, the new acting registrar offers suggestions to assure that henceforward the RMV workforce actually, you know, works: Jamey Tesler wants to hire yet more chiefs, as it were, to supervise the Indians. What the Registry really needs, Tesler says, is a new “Chief Compliance Officer,” not to mention a “Director of Policy” who will “ensure processes and policies are devised and promulgated.”

Does this mean that until now the RMV had no policy to suspend the licenses of motorists who drove drunk out of state?

Don’t worry, though, now that the report is in hand, Tesler knows exactly how to proceed – “convene a meeting.”

Yes, that should certainly do the trick. Another meeting.

Tesler also wants to hire a “Deputy Registrar for Safety to ensure better coordination and control of the public safety aspects of the RMV.”

Really? Isn’t public safety… job one, as they say. But wait, Grant Thornton has its own suggestion. It’s not enough to merely add a chief compliance officer, the firm says.

“We recommend that the RMV consider employing a Chief Compliance and Risk Officer with the mandate to identify and mitigate risk through an enterprise risk assessment; risk ranking and prioritization; and adoption of effective mitigating strategies, controls and protocols.”

Whatever that means, my takeaway is that not hiring a new risk officer might be… risky.

After the disaster, Tall Deval immediately threw Erin Devaney, the registrar, under the bus. She lost her $143,000-a-year sinecure. All summer, the Registry has resembled the American embassy in Saigon in April 1975 – everyone is scurrying in panic up to the roof, hoping to jump on the last rescue helicopters.

Some hacks have “retired” and others have been transferred. But in the report, Devaney managed to drag in one of Tall Deval’s big fish who until now had escaped any scrutiny whatsoever: “She further stated that she communicated difficulties the MRB (Merit Rating Bureau) was having to Mindy d’Arbeloff, Deputy Chief of Customer Service and Constituent Affairs in the Governor’s Office.”

Like Tall Deval, Mindy is from Needham. She’s on his payroll for $122,000, and she’d been under the radar. Her husband, by the way, is Tall Deval’s secretary of education, James Peyser.

He makes $162,322 a year.

They are what you might call a Tall Deval power couple, as well they should be – they’ve ponied up at least $5,000 to Baker and his lieutenant governor, Karyn Polito.

Another one of Tall Deval’s female friends from the old days at Needham High was also interred down at the RMV. Mary Tibma transferred out to Labor before the disaster. She makes $114,930 a year, and she and her husband have ponied up $3,000 to the Baker-Polito team.

One last point: in the report, Devaney says another problem was that “since 2018, she had to devote more attention to the Service Centers as operating objectives not being achieved, which in retrospect allowed her less time to address other areas within the RMV to the degree that she may have wished.”

Nobody at the RMV could do two things at once? I think the Registry may need yet another new hack – Deputy Chief Registrar for Multi-Tasking.

(Check out Howie’s latest podcasts at howiecarrshow.com.)

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