Governor Deval Patrick today accepted the resignation of Frank Tramontozzi, the state's acting highway administrator, blaming him for critical lapses in communication that kept the public in the dark for five weeks about a 110-pound light fixture that fell in a Big Dig tunnel.
Patrick said that another highway official had also been reprimanded. And the governor said that he has communicated his displeasure over the incident to Secretary of Transportation Jeffrey Mullan.
"The secretary has felt the burn himself, from me, meaning that I've been very clear that I will not accept this again,'' Patrick said.
Mullan and Patrick spoke separately to reporters outside the governor's office. Mullan said there had been a "complete communication breakdown" in his department, and acknowledged that he played a role in that breakdown, but said he would not resign.
He said that Frank DePaola, the assistant general manager for design and construction at the MBTA, had been chosen to replace Tramontozzi.
The Patrick administration said it would release a full report on the communication lapses this afternoon.
Michael Levenson can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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