Former Senator and Turnpike Authority Chairman Commits DUI

By: Timothy McFarlin | Published: August 10th, 2010 | Category: Driving Under The Influence (DUI)

The Boston Globe recently reported Matthew Amorello, once Chairman of the Massachusetts Turnpike Authority, has recently been charged with DUI, intoxicated on alcohol; as well as leaving the scene of property damage. While no injuries occurred, Amorello posted bail early the next morning. The arrest took place at approximately sometime after two in the morning.

Lieutenant Kevin Dorr of the Haverhill, Massachusetts police said the former Chairmen drove into several parked cars and “continued driving a short distance before he pulled over.” The Lieutenant is uncertain, or simply is not reveling, how much alcohol Matthew Amorello has in his system at the time of the DUI.

From 2002-2006, Amorello managed the Central Artery/Tunnel Project (CA/T), otherwise known as the “Big Dig.” It was a gigantic project which rerouted Interstate 93—which goes through the heart of Boston, through a three and a half mile tunnel. The enormous project, which Amorello oversaw, included the building of the Ted Williams Tunnel, the Leonard P. Zakim Bunker Hill Memorial Bridge (which extends over the Charles River as well as the Rose Kennedy Greenway.

It remains one of the most expensive highway projects, of all-time, in this country—costing approximately $22 billion. Nearly $7 billion alone is in interest owed. Amorello has a background of playing hardball with those who stuck around long enough and were always, deeply, opposed to the project, back in 1982.

The “Big Dig” has been tarnished and deemed a disaster by numerous forces from death to never-ending, escalating costs and the utilization of inadequate materials. Back in ’82, Congressman Barney Frank quipped, “Wouldn’t it be cheaper to raise the city than depress the artery?” The project is projected to be paid fully by 2038. Taxpayers have paid dearly for the “Big Dig.”

Amorello, who also served as State Senator from Worcester from 1991 to 1998, was chosen to manage the Turnpike Authority in 2002 and resigned only four years later due to a chunk of the tunnel’s ceiling collapsed, killing a female passenger in a car.

Since these times, Matthew Amorello has started his own company with a focus on solar energy. However, last year, the State Ethics Commission served him a fine for a violation of the “conflict-of-interest” law after being involved in key policy making decisions, knowing he had much to gain financially. This recent DUI, does not help, to say the least, Amorello and is only another stain on his career and livelihood.

Amorello’s brother, Christopher said, “My brother, like anyone else, has issues, but he didn’t deserve any of this…I’m not going to defend what happened…but it’s not newsworthy. You can imagine how we feel. It’s a travesty. It’s sad.’’

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