Some salaries to soar under Lamont

January 3, 2019

Connecticut’s next Department of Transportation commissioner will make $240,000, which is $50,000 more than the current agency head.

The new commissioner, Joseph Giulietti, is currently the sole nominee offered more than $200,000 by Governor-elect Ned Lamont, Colleen Flanagan Johnson, Lamont’s senior adviser, said Thursday.

While Giulietti’s salary might seem high, he is taking a major reduction from his previous job as president of Metro North, where he made over $330,000 a year, according to Maribel La Luz, communications director for Lamont.

“Giulietti brings significant rail and infrastructure experience, in addition to relationships and expertise as the former president of Metro-North, and the people of our state deserve and should expect that kind of expertise,” she wrote in an e-mail.

Under Gov. Dannel P. Malloy, no commissioner made over $200,000, except Ben Barnes, the secretary of the state’s Office of Policy and Management, said Chris McClure, OPM spokesman. Barnes makes $209,439 a year, the state’s OpenPayroll online system shows.

Lamont’s staff finalized salaries for his new nominees Wednesday, Johnson said. Only about half of the new state commissioners have been publicly announced at this time, but so far three of the five commissioners will make more than their predecessors.

“The best investment any organization can make is in its people,” said La Luz. “We have great hard-working state employees and we will continue to make sure they are matched with great leadership.”

Lamont’s top office staff will have similar salaries to Malloy’s. One exception is Lamont’s new nominee for OPM secretary, Melissa McCaw, who will earn $198,000 yearly — about $20,000 less than Barnes.

Lamont’s new Department of Energy and Environmental Protection commissioner will make $35,000 more annually than the current commissioner. Katie Dykes will earn $175,000. Outgoing commisssioner Rob Klee’s annual salary is $139,050, OpenPayroll shows.

The salary of new head of the Office of Early Childhood, state Sen. Beth Bye of West Hartford, will also exceed that of the current office holder. Bye’s salary will be $155,000. David Wilkinson, the current commissioner, has a salary of $142,040.

The pay of Rollin Clark, the new commissioner of the Department of Corrections, and James Rovella, incoming commissioner of the Department of Emergency Services and Public Protection, will be the same as the current commissioners of those agencies. Clark will make $167,500 and Rovella will make $183,340, Johnson said.

Pay for commissioners did increase under Malloy. Four years ago, the heads of these departments received raises between 3 and 12 percent, along with 30 other agency heads and deputies.

In the governor’s office, the salary of Lamont’s chief of staff will be slightly less than Malloy’s. Ryan Drajewicz, who previously worked at Bridgewater, the world’s largest hedge fund, will make $155,000, compared to Brian Durand’s salary is $160,000.

Bob Clark, Lamont’s general counsel, who is now a Bridgeport judge, will make $165,000, slightly less than Malloy’s longtime legal adviser, Karen Buffkin, who was paid $172,000 a year before she left last summer for a new opportunity.

The positions of other Lamont appointees do not align exactly with those of Malloy staff, some of whom are now filling multiple roles.

Johnson will make $150,000 as Lamont’s senior advisor. Paul Mounds, who will hold the newly created position of chief operating officer, will make $120,000.

La Luz, Lamont’s communications director, will make $120,000. Chris Soto, Lamont’s legislative director, and Marc Bradley, his director of constituent and external affairs, will each get paid $100,000.

The governor’s salary is dictated by state statute and is set at $150,000 a year. Lamont said on the campaign trail that he would not take a salary.

emunson@hearstmediact.com; Twitter: @emiliemunson

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