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Spokesman: Transportation Board Members Will Likely Honor Baker's Request They Resign

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A spokesman for the Massachusetts Department of Transportation says it's likely six board members will honor the governor's request they resign.

Gov. Charlie Baker on Wednesday asked all board members except his transportation secretary to step aside, following the release of a report by a Baker-appointed advisory panel that blasted the MBTA's management.

The report found that the beleaguered transit system is in "severe financial distress" and is "governed ineffectively."

"We anticipate that most of the members will honor the governor's request, and we are grateful for their service," said Michael Verseckes, the MassDOT spokesman, said in an email to WBUR on Thursday.

The resignations could clear the way for a fiscal control board to temporarily replace the MassDOT board, which the advisory panel also recommended. The Legislature would have to enact that change.

“The governor and I both share the belief that the panel did not ask this group to resign because of anything they did, but in order to basically hit the reset button and give the MBTA a fresh start,” Transportation Secretary Stephanie Pollack told State House News Service Wednesday. “And he wanted to make the request in a way that he considered respectful, so there has been a quiet request made.”

The current board consists of six members appointed by former Gov. Deval Patrick, not including Pollack, who also sits on the board.

With reporting from the WBUR Newsroom and the State House News Service

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