Gov. Healey denies firing transportation secretary during Sumner Tunnel press remarks

Gov. Maura Healey deflected questions Wednesday about whether outgoing Transportation Secretary Gina Fiandaca had been fired from her post.

Appearing alongside Fiandaca during a press tour of the completed Sumner Tunnel construction in Boston, the governor said, "Secretery Fiandaca came to the decision. And again we look forward to supporting her in the next chapter, as I know she will continue to support us."

Healey said she was proud of the work accomplished under Fiandaca, who announced Monday she was stepping down after a short stint in the high-stakes role overseeing transportation for the state.

"It's been an intense and great seven months," Healey said. She noted the timely completion of the Sumner Tunnel work, which shut down the tunnel connecting Logan International Airport and East Boston to downtown for the summer. She also credited Fiandaca with helping hire the new MBTA chief, Phil Eng, and with implementing the Work and Family Mobility Act. 

"We wish Secretary Fiandaca all the best," Healey said.

Healey addressed a large group of workers and some lawmakers at the tunnel, and thanked those who toiled around the clock to complete this phase of the project on time. The Sumner will close for at least eight additional weekends over the next year and another phase of the project is slated to shutter the tunnel next summer for several weeks.

"I thank the public for their patience with this," Healey said. "And I thank all the men and women that worked to get this done on time — and in time — for this weekend."

Fiandaca's last day is expected to be Sept. 11; she will serve in an advisory role through the end of the year, according to Healey. Undersecretary for Transportation Monica Tibbits-Nutt will take over as acting transportation secretary.

Fiandaca drew fire after it was reported earlier this year that the MBTA had awarded a no-bid contract to her former brother-in-law.

Andrea Perdomo-Hernandez Transportation Reporter
Andrea Perdomo-Hernandez is a transportation reporter for WBUR.



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