Gov. M. Jodi Rell stood by her man Monday. She called Superior Court Judge John Downey, her nominee to the Appellate Court, a “decent and honorable man.”

The Judiciary Committee is expected to being hearings on Downey’s nomination at 1 p.m. today.

Downey emerged as a controversial figure when he made comments about the late Sen. Strom Thurmond and again when he asked if a man killed in a work-related accident was in the United States legally.

The hearing on Downey’s nomination will be held in room 2C of the Legislative Office Building.