"Big Dig" receives another warning

News Boston Globe December 17, 2004
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Massachusetts Gov

Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney has been warned: Investigate the hundreds of leaks in the "Big Dig" tunnel system or risk losing $81 million in federal funding.

Romney responded by filing a bill which forms a five-member commission to look into the leaks and seeks refunds for the state for construction problems.

U.S. Department of Transportation Inspector General Kenneth Mead also wants the state push harder to gather refunds for contractor mistakes on the project. A group headed by retired judge Edward Ginsburg has only collected $3.5 million in refunds.

"It is very much in our interest to get to the bottom of these leaks as quickly as possible," Romney told the Boston Globe. "They made it very clear that at a time when they don't know the extent of the cost of the leaks and who is going to be responsible they are not ready to release the funds."

Romney's new commission will include state Attorney General Thomas Reilly, state auditor Joseph DeNucci and state comptroller Martin Benison plus two members appointed by the governor. Each delegate will serve a three-year term. The commission will have the power to hire special counsel, engineers and other staff, and would be required to submit reports to the state legislature and governor.

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