Bryan Cafferelli, legal counsel to the Senate Republican minority and a former chief of staff to Lt. Gov. Michael C. Fedele, is Gov. Ned Lamont’s choice for commissioner of consumer protection.
If confirmed, Cafferelli will join Mark Boughton, a former Danbury mayor who finished second in the 2018 GOP primary for governor, as the second Republican member of the Democratic governor’s cabinet.
While his party affiliation will be noticed at the state Capitol, the Lamont administration stressed Cafferelli’s experience as a state prosecutor and, more recently, as the attorney overseeing drug enforcement at consumer protection.
“Bryan has extensive experience working in and around Connecticut state government, including serving for several years as an attorney for the Department of Consumer Protection in a role that required him to oversee the agency’s drug enforcement cases, which is one of the most significant responsibilities of our time,” Lamont said Monday.
Unlike Boughton, who is close to Lamont and advises him on infrastructure financing issues in addition to overseeing the Department of Revenue Services, Cafferelli had no similar relationship with the governor. His staff made the recommendation after vetting.
The governor’s office made a point of including a complimentary quote from Senate President Pro Tem Martin M. Looney, D-New Haven, whose staff regularly dealt with Cafferelli in legislative matters.
“I have worked with Bryan in his role as counsel for the Senate Republican caucus and have always found him to be highly knowledgeable, fair and dedicated,” Looney said. “I know he will bring those qualities to the Department of Consumer Protection and serve as a superb commissioner and advocate for consumers.”
With the legalization of online gambling and recreational cannabis, the portfolio of the DCP has broadened from its traditional roles overseeing occupational and professional licensing, liquor control and food standards.
Cafferelli’s former boss, Fedele, leads an investment group that purchased CTPharma, one of the state’s four cultivators of medical marijuana.
Cafferelli could not be reached for comment Monday.
In the governor’s press release, Cafferelli said, “I am honored by Governor Lamont’s faith in me to lead this state agency, and I look forward to joining this group of talented professionals in advancing the department’s mission.”
He will succeed Michelle Seagull as commissioner.