Updated:By Kevin Rothstein and Mike Beaudet
FOX UNDERCOVER (MyFoxBoston.com) -- For most people, Erin Deveney, the new head of the embattled Mass. Department of Children and Families, is an unfamiliar face. But she's worked in state government for years, moving over to DCF as a deputy commissioner last month.
It was 2004, the year before the passage of Melanieâs Law, which cracked down on drunk drivers. FOX Undercover was investigating repeat drunk drivers getting back on the road, in some cases because of mistakes by the RMV.
Fagan, in addition to being a Democratic state representative from Taunton, was also an attorney who had defended more than 1,000 drunk drivers. He was a fierce opponent of anti-drunk driving laws.
Deveney used to work for him as a State House aide. She continued to support him politically, donating hundreds of dollars to his campaign, most recently in 2010, the year he lost his House seat.
âHow does it look when a top official at the Registry of Motor Vehicles is supporting a leading opponent of drunk driving legislation?â FOX Undercover reporter Mike Beaudet asked her in 2004.
âI appreciate my job. I take my job very seriously. And Rep. Fagan doesn't necessarily like when I take somebody's license,â Deveney replied. âRep. Fagan isn't Registrar Fagan and he doesn't dictate how this agency is, nor has he ever attempted to in his personal, professional or political capacity.â
âBut you got to admit, come on, it doesn't look good,â Beaudet asked her.
At that point a spokesperson for the RMV interrupted the interview.
âActually, I don't really see what this has to do with the interview that we promised you. I think we should give Erin a break,â she said. âI think that the Fagan stuff is, I think that's out of line.â
âYou don't think it's a fair question?â Beaudet asked.
âIt does not surprise me,â Deveney said. âCertainly he understands and I understand that he's an elected official. He's a defense attorney and people have stereotypically considered that compromises his ability to addressâ¦â
Deveney was then cut off by the press aide.
âYou don't even need to answer this. You don't. It leaves a bad taste in my mouth that this is going in this direction. You don't need to defend yourself Erin. You've given a good interview,â she said.
Now, Deveney wonât have that public relations protector by her side at DCF, but her former colleagues, who give her high marks, believe sheâll be just fine.
© 2016 Cox Media Group.
Not first time in spotlight for new DCF head
FOX25 Investigates: Another family comes forward in autopsy paperwork backlog
FOX25 Investigates: Reports of favoritism among MassDOT towing contracts
Gov. Baker calls for action after FOX25 Investigates uncovers dangerous loophole
FOX25 Investigates state-funded agency spending your tax dollars on…