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The Senate voted unanimously Wednesday to confirm Rollin Cook as commissioner of correction. A vote on his confirmation had been delayed to allow senators to question him about issues arising during his time as the top prisons official in Utah.

As expected, the Senate took no action on the nomination of David Lehman as commissioner of economic and community development. His role at Goldman Sachs during the financial collapse of 2008 has left some senators uncertain about voting for confirmation.

Senate President Pro Tem Martin M. Looney, D-New Haven, said Lehman and Gov. Ned Lamont were in the process of reaching out individually to members of the Senate, and the Democratic majority would not discuss Lehman until those conversations are complete.

“We’re not going to caucus until Mr. Lehman has had a chance to talk to all our members and also until the governor’s had a chance to make all of his calls,” Looney said.

Democrats control the Senate by a 22-14 margin. Executive nominations require confirmation by only one chamber of the General Assembly, and the Lamont administration chose the Senate to consider Lehman and Cook.

Cook arrived in Connecticut with glowing references from Scott Semple, his predecessor, and the former governor’s criminal justice adviser, Michael P. Lawlor. Both had praised Cook as a reformer in the same mold as Semple.

He was questioned at his confirmation hearing a month ago about deaths under his watch in Utah, but the panel voted 7-1 to recommend his confirmation to the full Senate. 

The sole dissenter, Sen. Marilyn Moore, D-Bridgeport, was among the 35 senators voting Wednesday for his endorsement. There was no debate or comment before the vote.

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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