The Malloyalist tree has lost some leaves along the way as the governor approaches the end of his first term in office. The latest to depart is senior advisor Roy Occhiogrosso, said to be Governor Dannel Malloy’s “closest confidant.”
Mr. Occhiogrosso’s own reaction to his departure was uncharacteristically understated, almost blasé: “I personally think people tend to stay in these jobs too long some times. I had a great time. It's time to do something else."
Sometime last January, Mr. Malloy opened the exit door a crack. He told his staff that those who did not want to remain with him as he served out the next two years of his term in office should leave then, but Mr. Occhigrosso agreed to remain for yet another year.
Mr. Occhigrosso’s future will not be black. Most gubernatorial stalwarts usually cash in when they cash out of service, and Mr. Occhiogrosso has performed yeoman service for the governor that began when he gave up a position with an organization called The Global Strategy Group, a national polling and communication strategy organization servicing political, corporate and non-profit clients. A return to his old haunts is not impossible.
Others have left the Malloyalist cocoon. The governor’s general counsel, Andrew McDonald, may move on to fill one of two openings on the Connecticut Supreme Court.
Mr. McDonald and fellow Malloyalist Michal Lawlor, now undersecretary for criminal justice policy, were once co-chairs of the General Assembly’s Judiciary Committee. Both are perhaps best known as the legislative posse who supported a law that would have destroyed the apostolic nature of the Catholic Church. Most recently, Mr. Lawlor has been the architect of the governor’s troubled early release Earned Risk Reduction Credits program.