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
|Administrative Services||MELODY CURREY||$145,000|
|Chief of staff||Mark Ojakian||$189,952|
|Children & Families||Joette Katz||$172,291|
|Communication Director||MARK BERGMAN||$98,000|
|Early Childhood||Myra Jones-Taylor||$142,040|
|Economic Development||Catherine H. Smith||$190,400|
|Emergency Services||Dora B. Schriro||$183,340|
|Energy & Environment||Robert J. Klee||$139,050|
|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|