While DMV Bureaucrats Take the Heat,
State's Elected Politicians Lie Low
by Del Tartikoff
copyright © 1997, Electric Nevada
|Nevada's governor and state legislators have been virtually mum about it, but the car insurance verification fiasco currently roiling the state grew directly out of decisions they made.|
fiasco? Of over 11,000 drivers fined in 1996 by the
Nevada Department of Motor Vehicles' so-called 'insurance
verification program,' more than half -- 6,212 -- had
full insurance coverage but were still compelled to pay
the DMV $310,600 in $50 fines.
It's the verification program itself that's the real problem, say the drivers. Badly designed from the start, it's also being mismanaged, they say, by an institutionally stupid and indifferent state bureaucracy.
Responsible for the program's design were state legislators and Gov. Bob Miller. Not once, but twice -- in both the 1993 and 1995 legislative sessions -- they approved into law bills that established the grim scheme that DMV bureaucrats now enforce.
And who has had responsibility over the bureaucrats administering the program? Again, it was Governor Bob Miller and, under him, his personal appointee as director of the Department of Motor Vehicles and Public Safety, Jim Weller.
Friday, after five years working for the state, Weller resigned. His quitting, Miller press secretary Richard Urey assured reporters, had nothing at all to
do with the problems
convulsing the DMV.
out of line," he said. "We don't tolerate
The fix is
administrative, not statutory.'
to $1 million in work
for the DMV, the state Taxation Department was announcing
that it would be suing the same firm for just about the
same sum, on grounds that the firm had installed a
defective computer system.
Comeaux said that state
IS director Marlene Lockard was reluctant to okay the
Best contracts, and Lockard agrees.
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