McCluskey to leave House for parole board

Rep. David McCluskey, D-West Hartford, is joining the exodus of legislators headed to the executive branch.

Gov.-elect Dan Malloy today named McCluskey, a supporter who served on his campaign policy team, to the Board of Pardons and Paroles. His departure will force a special election in a district that primarily covers the Elmwood section of West Hartford.

“David has been a committed public servant for a long time, and I appreciate his willingness to continue that service as a member of the Board of Pardons and Paroles,” Malloy said in a statement emailed to reporters today. “Representative McCluskey will walk a fine line in this new role, ultimately making decisions that will help keep the people of the State of Connecticut safe, while allowing those people who have served their time to become a contributing member of society. I believe keeping people safe is a critical function of government, and I believe in having a second chance society. The two are not mutually exclusive.”

McCluskey is a graduate of the University of Chicago and Cornell with degrees in political science and labor relations. He is a former employee of the Connecticut State Police Union.

“I’d like to thank Gov.-elect Malloy for his confidence in me in this new role,” McCluskey said. “It’s one in which I believe my experience working with the State Police Union will be helpful, but also my time as a state legislator, considering a number of criminal justice issues and programs. I come to this new position with a sense of responsibility both toward the citizens of Connecticut, as well as those in our society who have served their time and ultimately seek to rejoin society as a contributing member.”

He will join another former representative from West Hartford on the board, Republican Robert Farr, an appointee of Gov. M. Jodi Rell.

The other Democratic legislators to take administration posts are Sens. Andrew McDonald of Stamford and Donald DeFronzo of New Britain and Rep. Michael Lawlor of East Haven. Rep. James Spallone, D-Essex, is resigning to become the new deputy secretary of the state.