AUSTIN (KXAN) — The Texas Department of Motor Vehicles has a new acting executive director.
Daniel Avitia was appointed to the top spot Thursday following a closed-door session by the TxDMV board. Avitia joined the agency in 2014.
“I hope everything works out for the best and is a positive,” said Central Texas sheriff’s deputy David Kohler, who hopes to work with the agency to continue combatting temporary license plate fraud. “[I hope] the ship keeps moving forward and doesn’t go backwards.”
Some in law enforcement were concerned about the sudden resignations of two top officials in four days. Former executive director Whitney Brewster resigned Monday, followed days later by the agency’s general counsel, Tracey Beaver. This comes amid a series of KXAN investigations and at a turbulent time for the TxDMV, which has been plagued by paper tag fraud for years.
Before his appointment as acting executive director, Avitia served as a one of the department’s deputy executive directors overseeing day-to-day operations, which included finance and administration, human resources, information technology services, the Motor Vehicle Division and the Office of Administrative Hearings, according to his bio.
Shelly Mellott, who served as acting interim director, will continue her role as deputy executive director.
“Avitia has focused his professional efforts on strengthening and streamlining operations, building and administering successful teams and continuously improving processes that better support department and customer needs,” his bio says.
KXAN has requested an interview with Avitia but was told he is out of town for personal reasons.
“Upon his return he will be focused on leading the department on the various actions the board discussed,” a TxDMV spokesperson said, referring to measures to crack down on the state’s paper license plate problems.