Juan Figueroa, the former president of the Universal Health Care Foundation of Connecticut and a Democratic gubernatorial candidate in 2010, was named Wednesday by Hartford Mayor Pedro Segarra as the city’s corporation counsel.

“Juan is a well-respected, true expert in his field. He has dedicated his career to public policy locally and nationally and has established strong relationships with his peers because of it,” Segarra said. “The bottom line: Juan is a person who makes things happen, he’s an influential leader and he’ll be a great asset to my administration, residents, Council members and the City of Hartford.”

Figueroa, who unsuccessfully sought the Democratic gubernatorial nomination in 2010, is a former assistant attorney general and state representative from Hartford who left the legislature 20 years ago to become the president and general counsel of the Puerto Rico Legal Defense and Education Fund in New York.

Under his leadership, the fund brought cases in Puerto Rico, joining Robert F. Kennedy Jr. to sue to close the naval bombing range on the environmentally sensitive island of Vieques.

Figueroa is on the Mirror’s board of directors.

Segarra made another key appointment permanent Wednesday: Saundra Kee Borges was named chief operating officer, the position she’s held on an interim basis since last August. Under the previous city charter, Kee Borges was the city manager during the administration of Mayor Michael Peters.

Segarra is Hartford’s second mayor under a charter adopted a decade ago making the mayor the city’s chief executive.

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Mark PazniokasCapitol Bureau Chief

Mark is the Capitol Bureau Chief and a co-founder of CT Mirror. He is a frequent contributor to WNPR, a former state politics writer for The Hartford Courant and Journal Inquirer, and contributor for The New York Times.

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