Linda Yelmini, the state’s longtime director of labor relations who was pushed out by the Malloy administration, sent a goodbye email to state employees Thursday thanking them for ducking the “slings and arrows hurled at you from all sources, especially when a state employee has been identified as having done something wrong.”

She was abruptly told in November by Ben Barnes, the secretary of the Office of Policy and Management, that she was being laid off and her office reorganized, as CTMirror.org reported. Yelmini had served the administrations of five governors.

“Leaving like this is not what I ever wanted or expected, but I too will persevere,” she wrote.

Here’s the full email:

From: Yelmini, Linda [mailto:Linda.Yelmini@ct.gov]
Sent: Wednesday, January 14, 2015 10:56 AM
Subject: A Personal Message

I just wanted to say goodbye to all of you.  You represent the backbone of state government and many of you have worked hard for the taxpayers of the State of Connecticut with little or no recognition or appreciation.  You have endured the slings and arrows hurled at you from all sources, especially when a state employee has been identified as having done something wrong. You have tried hard and persevered; managed with few resources and have generally done yeoman’s work.  While many do not recognize the importance of what you do, state government could not run without you.  Thanks for all you do.

I wanted to thank many of you for your kind words of support both now and in the past. You will never know how much I truly have appreciated the fact that many of you have taken the time to reach out to me.  Leaving like this is not what I ever wanted or expected, but I too will persevere.

Best personal regards,

Linda J. Yelmini

Jacqueline Rabe Thomas

Jacqueline was CT Mirror’s Education and Housing Reporter, and an original member of the CT Mirror staff, joining shortly before our January 2010 launch. Her awards include the best-of-show Theodore A. Driscoll Investigative Award from the Connecticut Society of Professional Journalists in 2019 for reporting on inadequate inmate health care, first-place for investigative reporting from the New England Newspaper and Press Association in 2020 for reporting on housing segregation, and two first-place awards from the National Education Writers Association in 2012. She was selected for a prestigious, year-long Propublica Local Reporting Network grant in 2019, exploring a range of affordable and low-income housing issues. Before joining CT Mirror, Jacqueline was a reporter, online editor and website developer for The Washington Post Co.’s Maryland newspaper chains. Jacqueline received an undergraduate degree in journalism from Bowling Green State University and a master’s in public policy from Trinity College.

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