BOSTON (State House News Service) – Gov. Maura Healey traveled to North Carolina last month without disclosing her trip and, in confirming the travel, her office said Thursday that it will no longer tell the public in advance when Healey is traveling out of state because of unspecified “security concerns.”
A disclosure that Healey filed last month with the State Ethics Commission, which was made available to the News Service on Thursday morning, revealed that Healey planned to travel to Asheville, N.C., for a Democratic Governors Association meeting on Oct. 2 and 3, and that the DGA would foot the estimated $1,341.30 bill for Healey’s travel. The trip was never mentioned on any of Healey’s public schedules and was not disclosed at the time.
In response to questions about the governor’s apparent trip to North Carolina, a Healey spokesperson said the administration will no longer publicly announce when the governor travels. Until that trip, Healey’s office regularly informed the press before the governor or lieutenant governor was leaving Massachusetts, as has been typical of at least the last few gubernatorial administrations.
“Due to security concerns, we will not be advising the Governor’s travel in advance,” spokeswoman Karissa Hand said. “The Governor is engaged in her work at all times and keeps in constant communication with her team no matter where she is.”
The governor’s office did not elaborate on the security concerns. But last month, there was a demonstration of local neo-Nazis outside of the Arlington house that Healey — the first woman and first openly gay governor elected in Massachusetts — shares with her partner and her partner’s children.
Whenever the governor leaves Massachusetts, the executive powers are passed on to the lieutenant governor. If the lieutenant governor is also away (or if the office is vacant), the powers go to the secretary of state, as has happened already this year when both Healey and Driscoll were traveling. Healey’s office said Thursday that the acting governor will be notified in advance whenever Healey (or Healey and Driscoll) will be out of state.
Healey’s travel plans will be listed on the monthly calendars that are made available to the press through public records requests after the fact. The administration had not released a copy of Healey’s calendar for October as of Thursday. Healey has previously pushed back on the mixed reviews she office has gotten for transparency.