Top Official Involved with Troubled License System on Leave

November 25, 2017 03:50 PM

A top state official involved with developing Minnesota's troubled new $90 million computer system for vehicle licensing is no longer working on the project.

A spokeswoman for the state's information technology department says chief business technology officer Paul Meekin is on a leave of absence and not available. 5 EYEWITNESS NEWS tried to reach Meekin at his home on Friday, but no one came to the door.

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The St. Paul Pioneer Press reports Meekin was the project director for the Minnesota Licensing and Registration System. It was delayed by years and cost more than double its original budget.

Problems have continued since its launch, leading to long lines at motor vehicle services offices and delays in issuing license plates.

"This is a manmade disaster, and I'm not overstating it," said Scott Lambert, President of the Minnesota Automobile Dealers Association. "The system was not ready. It should not have been rolled out at all and we think anybody who was responsible for it should be held accountable."

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Minnesota IT Services says it's making changes to the system's management structure, including hiring and assigning new officials.

The changes come on the heels an admission last week by Gov. Mark Dayton. Four months after the botched rollout, the governor apologized to Minnesotans for the new troubled system.

"Everybody needs to be patient. This is a big mess. This is not a couple of patches and we're back to square one. This is going to take a lot to untangle," Lambert said.

Credits

The Associated Press and Ryan Raiche

Copyright 2017 - KSTP-TV, LLC A Hubbard Broadcasting Company

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