Metro

Baker administration defends revenue department aide

Governor Charlie Baker, through a spokesperson, brushed aside reports that his tax commissioner hired a friend for a $121,000-a-year job at the Department of Revenue during a hiring freeze, saying she had experience in financial services.

The spokesperson, Lizzy Guyton, also reiterated that the employee, Kristin Lindquist, had no role in the department’s recent technology failures.

Baker was asked to respond to a Globe report that then-DOR Commissioner Michael J. Heffernan created a new position for Lindquist — a friend, Wellesley neighbor, and donor to his failed run for state treasurer — in 2016. She had not worked full time since 2002, and her title at the Revenue Department was associate deputy commissioner for administrative affairs and chief risk officer.

Advertisement

The governor did not respond, but Guyton cited Lindquist’s professional experience in the 1980s and ’90s as a securities trader and portfolio manager at two major financial institutions.

Get Fast Forward in your inbox:
Forget yesterday's news. Get what you need today in this early-morning email.
Thank you for signing up! Sign up for more newsletters here

“Kristin Lindquist is an experienced professional with over a decade of experience managing complex financial matters, and in her role as an associate deputy commissioner at DOR has no involvement with the events that caused this software related vulnerability,” said Guyton.

The story Tuesday cast doubt on Lindquist’s credentials for the role, citing a justification in which Heffernan — who has since been promoted to secretary of administration and finance — said the agency needed “additional administrative and risk management” for two “major technology rollouts” in the next year.

The two major technology rollouts have since hit serious snags. One inadvertently made private information about 39,000 business taxpayers visible to other businesses. The other failed to deliver timely child support payments to about 1,500 parents.

Lindquist sat on committees that oversaw the installation of the system and is now in charge of investigating the failures.

Frank Phillips can be reached at frank.phillips@globe.com.