By Pat Kessler

ST. PAUL, Minn. (WCCO) — The fired director of Minnesota’s troubled new drivers license system defended himself before state lawmakers Tuesday.

That’s after an outside investigator found he was to blame for the botched rollout.

Lawmakers looking into the catastrophic rollout of the license and registration system held a rare joint hearing with former official Paul Meekin Tuesday. He was talking about the investigative report that is apparently so sensitive, it has large sections redacted.

Thousands of Minnesota drivers can’t get their their licenses renewed or tabs replaced, and the cost of getting the system to work is now at $93 million — and rising.

At a crowded hearing, the new chief said she’s trying to fix the system, and Meekin says he’s a scapegoat for unfair investigations.

“That are conducted with an eye toward examining just one person’s performance of a multi-year, multi-agency, multi-business, multi-million dollar IT project is so fundamentally misguieded,” Meekin said.

Johanna Clyborne / MN IT Commissioner
“It is unacceptable to me to see a rollout fail based on lack of leadership and adherence to IT principles,” Johanna Clyborne, the current Minnesota IT Commissioner, said.

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