The executive director of the State Elections Enforcement Commission for the past two years, Albert P. Lenge, retired Friday.

Lenge, who is part of a wave of retirements across state government sparked by imminent changes in benefits ordered through the union concession agreement, had served in state government for 28 years.

“Al Lenge has done an outstanding job, his dedication and commitment to the electoral process has resulted in Connecticut being recognized as a national leader,” Commission Chairman Stephen Cashman, said Friday. “Connecticut residents should be proud of the work he has done on their behalf.”

Lenge, 61, took over the commission’s top administrative post in October 2009 following the retirement of longtime executive director Jeffrey Garfield. For 14 years prior to that he had served as deputy director and assistant general counsel.

“More than anything, I will miss being involved in the lives of incredibly talented Commission staff,” Lenge said. “During these difficult times and the major transition of the Commission into the Office of Government Accountability, it is important to continue to work on maintaining the integrity of the electoral process and keeping watchdog agencies independent from political influence.”

Lenge served in four different agencies during his career.

He served under three secretaries of the state over a seven-year span, first as director and attorney of that office’s Elections Division and later as the secretary’s general counsel. He also worked in the office of Connecticut’s Attorney General for almost two years, and another three-and-a-half years as counsel to the Freedom of Information Commission.

Gov. Dannel P. Malloy’s administration originally estimated that soon-to-be-implemented restrictions on pension and retiree health care could prompt as many as 1,000 additional retirements over the summer and fall, on top of the 1,000 or so retirement usually recorded annually. As of Friday more than 2,600 retirement applications had been submitted this year.

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Keith M. PhaneufState Budget Reporter

Keith has spent most of his 31 years as a reporter specializing in state government finances, analyzing such topics as income tax equity, waste in government and the complex funding systems behind Connecticut’s transportation and social services networks. He has been the state finances reporter at CT Mirror since it launched in 2010. Prior to joining CT Mirror Keith was State Capitol bureau chief for The Journal Inquirer of Manchester, a reporter for the Day of New London, and a former contributing writer to The New York Times. Keith is a graduate of and a former journalism instructor at the University of Connecticut.

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