(Updated 11:15 a.m.) Three of Democratic Gov. Dannel P. Malloy’s senior staff will be leaving his office this fall before the start of the 2017 legislative session.
Deputy Chief of Staff Mark Bergman, Senior Director of Policy and Government Affairs Paul Mounds, and Communications Director Devon Puglia will each be leaving the office, according to Malloy’s Chief of Staff Brian Durand.
Mounds has been with the governor’s office since 2011. He previously worked for U.S. Rep. John B. Larson and U.S. Sen. Richard Blumenthal and started his career clerking for the legislature’s Energy and Technology Committee.
Chris Smith, who joined Malloy’s office in 2012 and previously worked as a lobbyist for Rome, Smith and Lutz, will replace Mounds.
Bergman, who worked on Malloy’s 2014 re-election campaign, initially came to the office as its communications director before being named deputy chief of staff. Bergman is leaving to work for Grossman Heinz, a public affairs firm specializing in government relations, and there’s no immediate replacement. Bergman’s wife is expecting their first child this month.
Puglia, who also worked on Malloy’s 2014 re-election campaign, will be returning to his home state of New York. He will be replaced by Kelly Donnelly, who is currently the chief of staff for Education Commissioner Dianna Wentzell. Donnelly previously worked as communications director for the Education Department.
“Mark, Paul, and Devon have all been outstanding key members of our team. During a difficult economic period, they’ve helped my administration achieve major goals, including hundreds of millions of dollars in budget savings, improvements to our transportation and energy infrastructures, bringing crime to its lowest levels in decades, and so much more,” Malloy said in a statement. “They’ve worked long hours and served the people of Connecticut well. I wish each of them the best in their next endeavors.”
Bergman is the only one of the three with a definitive plan for future employment. Mounds and Puglia will be taking some time off before deciding what they will do next.
The departure of Bergman, Puglia, and Mounds comes just a few weeks after Gian-Carl Casa, deputy undersecretary for legislative affairs in Malloy’s budget office, announced his departure to head a nonprofit industry association.
Sources say the departures are not related to speculation that Malloy may leave for a post in a Hillary Clinton administration, nor are they related to the federal grand jury probe of Malloy’s 2014 re-election campaign.