Christine Stuart photo
Dennis Murphy will take over the DMV temporarily (Christine Stuart photo)

Gov. Dannel P. Malloy shuffled the deck Monday and asked Deputy Labor Commissioner Dennis Murphy to help manage the Department of Motor Vehicles until he can make a permanent selection.

Andres Ayala Jr. resigned last week as head of the DMV. The resignation came after a difficult year transitioning the agency to a $25 million new computer system.

At a Capitol press conference, Malloy described Murphy as his “troubleshooter,” who has served the governor in a number of capacities.

“I’ve asked Dennis to take over for a period of time until we can find a permanent head,” Malloy said. “No one is excluded from applying for that position. We will identify some candidates ourselves.”

Murphy joined the Malloy administration in 2011. He served as a neutral labor arbitrator with the American Arbitration Association, and was also Malloy’s director of Human Resources in Stamford when Malloy was mayor of that city.

Murphy starts his role at the DMV on Feb. 12. Until then his job will be to help transition former Hamden Mayor Scott Jackson into the new role of Labor Commissioner.

Christine Stuart photo
Former Hamden Mayor Scott Jackson (Christine Stuart photo)

Jackson, who didn’t seek re-election last year and instead took a job with the Malloy administration, will be Malloy’s third Labor Commissioner and the first who is not a union president.

Jackson, if he’s approved by the General Assembly, will succeed Sharon Palmer, who announced her retirement last year.

Malloy said historically he has tried to nominate a person from labor and one from management as commissioner and deputy commissioner. Malloy also announced that Kurt Westby, former political director for 32BJ and a long-time AFL-CIO board member, would be his deputy Labor Commissioner.

“I look forward to sitting with the hardworking women and men of this great state to better understand how we can go even further to provide them assistance every day, how we can achieve excellence as a state agency, and how we can provide value for all of our stakeholders,” Jackson said. “More than at any time in our history, we need to make sure that our workforce is well suite and fully prepared for the dynamic changes occurring every day in our economic landscape.”

Malloy said Jackson, who also chaired the governor’s Sandy Hook Advisory Commission, “has shown an ability and a sensibility on working to effect meaningful change.”