New York City public officials are defending Sir Paul McCartney's girlfriend NANCY SHEVELL amid allegations she has abandoned her responsibilities as a transport boardmember to focus on her high-profile romance.
Shevell is among 16 unpaid members appointed by the state governor to the Metropolitan Transportation Authority (MTA), the agency that oversees subways and buses for the city's eight million commuters.
After missing a series of top-level meetings, she has sparked an outcry among city leaders, who fear she's spending more time with her Beatle boyfriend of 18 months than doing her job.
According to MTA meeting minutes, Shevell has missed four full board meetings - more than any other voting member - since January 2008. She also skipped another committee meeting held to approve a controversial fare increase last month (Mar09) - on the same day she was snapped walking the red carpet with MCCartney at an event in London.
However, MTA officials insist Shevell is fulfilling her duties.
An MTA spokesperson says, "MTA board members are volunteers who serve without compensation and spend countless hours each month attending meetings and analysing background materials. Nancy Shevell has been an active board member since her appointment in 2001."