Jonathan Harris, a lawyer and former state senator who recently stepped down as executive director of the Connecticut Democratic Party, was named commissioner of consumer protection Tuesday by Gov. Dannel P. Malloy.
Harris, 50, of West Hartford, will succeed William M. Rubenstein, who is retiring. His appointment is subject to confirmation by the General Assembly.
At consumer protection, Harris will lead an agency of more than 100 employees responsible for enforcing liquor laws and, more recently, the implementation of a law allowing the limited production and sale of marijuana for medical purposes.
“The Department of Consumer Protection is an extremely important agency for consumers, for businesses, for all taxpayers,” Harris said. “It has a positive impact, if you look at it, on a broad swath of policy, regulation and enforcement.”
Harris is former councilman and mayor in West Hartford. His predecessor in the state Senate was Kevin B. Sullivan, now the commissioner of the state Department of Revenue Services. Harris is a graduate of Brandeis and the New York University School of Law.
Malloy introduced Harris as his choice at a press conference attended by Rubenstein. He praised the retiring commissioner for modernizing the Department of Consumer Protection and developing a regulatory structure for medical marijuana.
Rubenstein said the three of the four licensed producers of marijuana are operating, serving a relative small medically certified clientele of 3,500 customers.
“Whether it’s economically viable, it’s too early for us to make a judgment,” Malloy said of the new business.
Harris became executive director of the state party in 2012 as it was building a get-out-the-vote effort in preparation for the 2014 election. Devon Puglia, who was the party’s spokesman, also has joined the administration as the director of media relations.
Malloy, 59, whose second term begins Jan. 7, still has to name commissioners at four departments: Banking, Education, Developmental Services and Insurance. He also has interim commissioners at three other departments: Aging, Correction and Veterans Affairs.
|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|
|Consumer Protection||JONATHAN HARRIS||$142,800|
|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|