Gov. Dannel P. Malloy waiting to introduce his new legal counsel, Karen Buffkin. CT MIRROR
Gov. Dannel P. Malloy waiting to introduce his new legal counsel, Karen Buffkin.
Gov. Dannel P. Malloy waiting to introduce his new legal counsel, Karen Buffkin. CT MIRROR

Gov. Dannel P. Malloy filled a key vacancy Monday, naming Karen Buffkin as his general counsel, an appointment that could help give women about half the top jobs in Malloy’s second-term administration.

The appointment of Buffkin, now the top deputy in the Office of Policy and Management, will give Malloy at least a dozen women in the top ranks of his administration, with at least five vacancies to fill.

Malloy, 59, whose second term begins Jan. 7, still has to name commissioners at five departments: Banking, Education, Consumer Protection, Developmental Services and Insurance. He also has interim commissioners at three other departments: Aging, Correction and Veterans Affairs.

Buffkin, who previously was undersecretary for legal affairs at OPM, succeeds Luke Bronin, who is departing after two years to join a Hartford law firm and explore a run for the city’s mayor. Buffkin is a graduate of the University of Connecticut School of Law.

She will be paid $172,000 in her new post. She was among the 200 appointees who got raises announced at sunset shortly before Christmas, a move Malloy defended Monday.

“That’s when the news was ready to go, and that’s when it went,” Malloy said in his first public comments since the raises were announced Wednesday. “By and large, this is a group that’s seen no increases.”

Unionized employees agreed in 2011 to a two-year pay freeze, followed by annual raises of three percent every year for three years.

The raises for appointees of Malloy and other constitutional officers ranged from three percent to 12 percent. Buffkin got a nine percent raise last week, seeing her OPM salary go from $144,150 to $157,124.

Her new appointment takes effect on Jan. 7.

The Malloy Administration 2.0

Malloy has five vacant commissioner jobs, plus interim appointees at Aging, Correction and Veterans Affairs. New appointees are in capital letters.
Title/Agency Appointee Salary
Administrative Services MELODY CURREY $145,000
Aging Margaret Gerundo-Murkette $123,599
Agriculture Steven Reviczy $132,160
Banking VACANT N/A
Chief of staff Mark Ojakian $189,952
Children & Families Joette Katz $172,291
Communication Director MARK BERGMAN $98,000
Consumer Protection VACANT N/A
Correction Scott Semple $155,000
Counsel KAREN BUFFKIN $172,000
Developmental Services VACANT N/A
Early Childhood Myra Jones-Taylor $142,040
Economic Development Catherine H. Smith $190,400
Education VACANT N/A
Emergency Services Dora B. Schriro $183,340
Energy & Environment Robert J. Klee $139,050
Housing Evonne Klein $127,200
Insurance VACANT N/A
Labor Sharon M. Palmer $156,880
Mental Health & Addiction Patricia Rehmer $165,535
Military Thaddeus J. Martin $182,132
Motor Vehicles ANDRES AYALA JR. $150,000
Policy and Management Ben Barnes $209,439
Public Health Jewel Mullen $190,400
Rehabilitation Services Amy Porter $149,126
Revenue Services Kevin Sullivan $190,400
Social Services Roderick L. Bremby $190,400
Transportation James P. Redeker $190,749
Veterans’ Affairs Joseph Perkins $125,000

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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