SPRINGFIELD, MA (WGGB/WSHM) -- One day after the RMV announced the firing of Thomas Bowes, Western Mass News received a response from the local legislator who called for him to resign weeks ago.

That official is still choosing to run for local office.

Bowes, the head of the Merit Review Board, learned that he was fired from his position and as it stands there is no one lined up to replace him.

Senator Eric Lesser, who called for Bowes' resignation weeks ago, said it's a step in the right direction.

Though he called for Bowes' resignation rather than firing, Lesser suggested it's two different means to the same outcome.

"The Merit Review Board made the correct decision in firing Bowes, the public needs to have confidence that steps are being taken to hold officials accountable. However, yesterday’s decision is only the start, it is essential that the legislature’s investigation continues unimpeded and that changes and reforms continue to be made so that this horrific tragedy never happens again," Senator Lesser said. 

Just last week, it was announced that an RMV employee opened up Volodymyr Zhukovskyy's driving record for seven seconds knowing that his out-of-state violation in Connecticut needed to be imputed.

But the employee didn't change the record and a short time later Zhukovskyy crashed his truck and trailer in New Hampshire killing 7 motorcyclists on a license that was still technically valid.

Zhukovkskyy's unprocessed notification was one of the hundreds that the RMV failed to input according to an internal review of the agency.

It was a notification that the Merit Review Board was tasked with processing, but they had effectively stopped completing out-of-state tasks by the time of the crash.

Western Mass News reached out to Bowes' attorney for an interview following his initial statement that Bowes was being used as a scapegoat for the whole of the RMV's problems.

We have not received a response.

Senator Lesser said more officials need to be held accountable.

"There are still far too many unanswered questions about how the RMV was operating and why leaders up and down the organizational chart failed to process notifications they knew were languishing," Senator Lesser said. 

Western Mass News reached out to Bowes for comment via phone and we have yet to hear back, but the channel's Boston sister station said Bowes, who serves on Braintree's Town Council and is planning a run for mayor.

Copyright 2019 Western Mass News (Meredith Corporation).  All rights reserved.

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