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Youngkin retracts job offer to Indiana official to run Virginia DMV

The Washington Post logo The Washington Post 5/10/2022 Gregory S. Schneider, Laura Vozzella
Virginia Gov. Glenn Youngkin (R) in Richmond. © Steve Helber/AP Virginia Gov. Glenn Youngkin (R) in Richmond.

RICHMOND — Gov. Glenn Youngkin’s administration has retracted a job offer to a former Indiana state official to run the Virginia Department of Motor Vehicles after the chosen candidate was the subject of an exposé in the Indianapolis Star about allegations of drinking on the job and making inappropriate comments.

Peter Lacy, the former commissioner of the Indiana Bureau of Motor Vehicles, was in line to take the same role in Virginia under Transportation Secretary W. Sheppard Miller III.

“Secretary Miller spoke with Mr. Lacy this morning. Mr. Lacy rescinded his acceptance and the Secretary concurred with that decision. He informed Mr. Lacy the Commonwealth rescinded the offer of employment,” Youngkin (R) spokeswoman Macaulay Porter said in an email Tuesday.

She declined to comment further.

The appointment had not been publicly announced but was posted Monday on the Indy Politics website. After the Indianapolis Star posted its story about Lacy on Tuesday, the newspaper followed up with the news that Lacy’s Virginia job offer had been rescinded.

Lacy could not immediately be reached for comment.

The Star reported that Lacy “abruptly” resigned last month from his job as head of that state’s Bureau of Motor Vehicles a day after he allegedly appeared intoxicated at a departmental meeting.

“Half a dozen people who worked under Lacy at the BMV’s central office said it was part of a pattern of inappropriate behavior that included crude sexual remarks to women and angry outbursts in which he would berate employees and throw things,” the report read.

The newspaper reported that Lacy in an email did not respond directly to claims made in its story but said his departure from the bureau “allowed me to take some time off to pursue other opportunities where I can bring Indiana’s BMV learnings and successes to other jurisdictions.”

Overhauling Virginia’s Department of Motor Vehicles was one of Youngkin’s campaign promises as he pledged to make state government more efficient and responsive to consumers.

Since his inauguration in January, Youngkin — a political outsider who had never held public office — has been methodical about making government appointments, often drawing on candidates from outside Virginia.

Virginia House Republicans try hardball to save Youngkin Cabinet pick

He assembled his Cabinet through an unusually slow and opaque process that left lobbyists, interest groups and others with business before the state government wondering what the incoming administration would look like.

Youngkin has faced glitches in hiring the head of at least one other agency — the state’s information technology office, or VITA. The department’s acting chief operating officer resigned last week, which the Richmond Times-Dispatch reported was the third high-level departure there since Youngkin replaced the state’s chief information officer in January.

Youngkin’s first choice as a replacement CIO stepped down after less than a month, and the previous chief operating officer left in February, the Times-Dispatch reported.

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