Scott Jackson Headed to DOL, Dennis Murphy to DMV

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By Mark Pazniokas / CT Mirror

Gov. Dannel P. Malloy is breaking with long practice by going outside the ranks of organized labor for a new commissioner of labor by naming former Hamden Mayor Scott Jackson, one of three personnel moves the administration made on January 25.

Dennis Murphy, the deputy commissioner of labor, whose relationship with Malloy reaches back to the governor’s tenure as mayor of Stamford, is being reassigned temporarily to oversee the troubled Department of Motor Vehicles. He previously was dispatched to the Board of Regents as chief of staff during a tumultuous change of leadership.

“He’s my troubleshooter,” Malloy said.

Kurt Westby, a former union leader who was in the pool of candidates for labor commissioner when Malloy took office in 2011, is to succeed Murphy as deputy commissioner, giving Jackson a top aide with strong union ties. Westby was the state director of 32BJ, an affiliate of Service Employees International Union.

Jackson will succeed Sharon Palmer, the former high-ranking official of AFT-Connecticut and the AFL-CIO who retired this month. Murphy follows Andres Ayala Jr., who resigned last week at DMV. Jackson’s wife is a labor organizer.

Jackson, a Democrat who was Hamden’s first black mayor, left city hall last year to join the Malloy administration as the undersecretary for intergovernmental policy at the Office of Policy and Management. He took the job after completing work as the chairman of the governor’s Sandy Hook Advisory Commission.

His appointment is subject to confirmation by the General Assembly…

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