Gov. Dannel P. Malloy named West Hartford attorney Owen P. Eagan on Tuesday to serve as chairman of the state’s Freedom of Information Commission.

“The Freedom of Information Commission has a critical mission, to ensure that the public is informed about government operations and that they have access to public records,” Malloy said.  “Owen has extensive experience with the commission, and I am confident that he will help lead this office in their important mission of connecting the public with their government.”

Colleen Murphy, executive director of and general counsel to the FOI Commission, called Eagan “a dedicated and thoughtful commissioner.  He brings a keen sense of fairness, integrity and an even-handed approach to the chairmanship that will serve the citizens of Connecticut well.”

Gov. M. Jodi Rell first appointed Eagan in 2009 to the FOI Commission, which enforces the state’s right-to-know law and ensures citizen access to public meetings and records.

“I am honored and humbled to be appointed as the next chairman of the Freedom of Information Commission and I thank Governor Malloy for this appointment” Eagan said.  “Our state’s Freedom of Information Act is the cornerstone of a vibrant democracy.  The importance of an open and transparent government cannot be understated.  As chairman, I will strive to ensure that all complainants and respondents are given every opportunity to protect their rights under the law.”

Eagan, who is a partner with Eagan, Donohue, Van Dyke & Falsey, concentrates on state and federal civil and criminal litigation. He is a former town councilor and deputy mayor in West Hartford.

A graduate of Wesleyan University, Eagan also received a law degree from Georgetown University Law Center.

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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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