DMV commissioner Ayala submits resignation - WFSB 3 Connecticut

DMV commissioner Ayala submits resignation

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DMV Commissioner Andres Ayala Jr. has resigned, sources told Eyewitness News. (WFSB file) DMV Commissioner Andres Ayala Jr. has resigned, sources told Eyewitness News. (WFSB file)

After one year in the position, the Department of Motor Vehicles Commissioner Andres Ayala Jr. has submitted his resignation. 

Ayala’s resignation comes after a year full of issues with the DMV, including a massive computer system glitch that caused long lines for customers and technical issues involving drivers’ vehicle registrations. Some towns are now dealing incorrect information on tax lists, causing drivers to get the wrong bill.

Eyewitness News has learned that there were multiple calls for his resignation. Sources within the DMV said Ayala was given the option to resign or be removed.

"It's been a tough year for him and I think he has done as good job as good as he can do, and it was an opportune time for him to leave at this point," said Gov. Dannel Malloy.

Governor Malloy appointed Ayala, a former state senator from Bridgeport, as his first Latino commissioner a little more than a year ago. 

In a statement, Malloy said “The Commissioner is a dedicated public servant to Connecticut, and I appreciate all of the work he’s done in so many different capacities both at the local and state levels. I want to thank him for his service and for his unwavering dedication to improving our state.”

Roughly 30,000 drivers were told their vehicle registrations were suspended because they didn't have insurance, however many of them did.

"There's a reason why my predecessors didn't put in new technology, because it's a gigantic problem. It's a headache because you're taking a 40-year-old system that has been reconstructed by the users, and to get around issues, and replace, you have to train people. You have to get out the bugs and all the rest,  and it has not an easy job by the commissioner," Malloy said.

Malloy added that he's focused on what comes next, saying 40 percent of people who go into the DMV don't have to, and can go online.

"Part of this is going to be an ongoing campaign to get people to do things from home that they think they can go to the motor vehicle department to complete," Malloy said.

The Governor's office did not say if reported issues with the DMV are the reason for Ayala's resignation. They have not confirmed who his replacement will be.

Senate Minority Leader Len Fasano also released a statement about Ayala's resignation.

“Andres Ayala tried his best at a very difficult time for the DMV," Fasano said. "I believe he put in great effort, but unfortunately the challenges were far greater than anticipated. During his time in the state senate Ayala was a dedicated lawmaker who always worked hard to make sure the voices of his constituents were heard at the Capitol. I wish him the best in all future endeavors.”

House Republican Leader Themis called for the transportation committee to "conduct a thorough hearing and investigation as soon as the legislative session convenes in two weeks.”    

“The chronic foul ups that have plagued the Department of Motor Vehicles and created great hardship and angst for motorists continue to this day. While the Commissioner Ayala has responded to our office regarding constituent complaints, the problems remain," Themis said in a statement on Wednesday. 

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