BOSTON — Lawmakers abruptly recessed an oversight hearing on failures at the Registry of Motor Vehicles after the Baker administration witnesses the committee hoped to hear from did not show up.
Lawmakers last week called transportation officials to Beacon Hill to discuss record-keeping failures, but the few who were in Gardner Auditorium Monday morning said they planned to offer limited testimony because of an ongoing independent audit.
Several of the witnesses the Joint Committee on Transportation sought, including current RMV employees who work in departments related to an enormous backlog of out-of-state violation notices, did not attend the hearing, a move that Sen. Joseph Boncore, the committee's Senate chair, called "frustrating."
Transportation Secretary Stephanie Pollack also said that witnesses who did attend were limited in testimony they could offer because national firm Grant Thornton is conducting a forensic audit about the scandal at the RMV.
"I don't think it's enough," said Rep. William Straus, the committee's House chair. "I think the kind of good faith cooperation that was expressed in a heartfelt way by Gov. Baker a few weeks ago set a minimum level of assistance that the committee and the legislature could expect."
After the hearing recessed, lawmakers said they were considering their options to compel testimony, including subpoenas.