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Page history last edited by PBworks 17 years, 4 months ago

July 11, 2006


Action comes in the wake of fatal collapse of tunnel ceiling


Governor Romney today announced his intention to fire Matthew Amorello as chairman and chief executive officer at the Turnpike Authority, citing public safety concerns and ongoing mismanagement. Amorello is entitled to a hearing prior to the action becoming effective.


Romney’s announcement came after a three-ton section of the ceiling collapsed in the I-90 Connector, killing a woman passenger in a car traveling eastbound in the tunnel.


According to Romney, Amorello has engaged in a continuing course of mismanagement, including dismissing the concerns of highly-regarded outside engineering experts who raised questions about the safety of the tunnel system a year ago.


“Through his failures, Matt Amorello has undermined public confidence in the safety of the Big Dig tunnels, diminishing the project's benefit to the public,” said Romney. “I am following the course set out in the law to bring in new leadership that can restore the public's confidence.


At a late-morning meeting, Romney assembled senior members of his Administration, including Lieutenant Governor Kerry Healey, the Secretary of Administration and Finance, Secretary of Public Safety, Secretary of Transportation and the General Manager of the MBTA, to coordinate a state response to the tunnel emergency.


Amorello was asked to come to the meeting to provide a briefing, but he did not attend.


The law permits the Governor to “de-designate” the Turnpike Authority chairman for cause. De-designation would take Amorello out of an executive role, but allow him to remain as a regular member of the board. Before this can take place, Amorello is entitled to a statement of the facts constituting the cause for de-designation, and a hearing at which he can contest those facts.


The Governor has instructed his legal counsel, Mark Nielsen, to prepare the statement and schedule the hearing.


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