BOSTON — The director of the state agency that stopped processing alerts from other states about Massachusetts drivers who had broken traffic laws has been fired.
The Registry of Motor Vehicles’ Merit Rating Board voted 3-0 Tuesday to fire Thomas Bowes, making him the second Registry of Motor Vehicles employee to depart in the wake of a June crash that killed seven motorcyclists in New Hampshire. Troubles at the RMV were exposed when it surfaced that the crash was allegedly caused by a driver whose license should have been suspended.
The board’s meeting was its first since 2015, and members also called for new leadership at the Registry to help address the systemic problems that allowed thousands of written out-of-state driver violation notices to pile up unaddressed.
The Registry had been storing notifications of out-of-state violations since March 2018 instead of acting on them.
“Based on everything we learned over the past eight weeks, the Merit Rating Board needs to head in a different direction and I believe it requires new leadership,” Acting Registrar Jamey Tesler, one of the board’s three members, said.
Bowes appeared briefly at the meeting with his attorney, Leonard Kesten, where he said he took “full responsibility” for the role his department played in the June 21 crash in New Hampshire that killed seven motorcyclists.
Bowes didn’t comment after the vote.
Speaking to reporters outside the meeting, Kesten said Bowes expected to be fired but that it was “unfortunate” for state leaders to target him when, he said, dozens of other employees played a role in the RMV’s years-long failures.
The board, which also includes Commissioner of Insurance Gary Anderson and Glenn Kaplan, chief of Attorney General Maura Healey’s insurance and financial services division, is responsible for overseeing the Merit Rating Board unit but had not met in four years, according to the Healey’s office.
Erin Deveney, the former registrar, resigned days after the crash.
Material from The Associated Press and the State House News Service was used in this report.