Ctnewsjunkie file photo
Chief Operating Officer Paul Mounds and Gov. Ned Lamont (Ctnewsjunkie file photo)

HARTFORD, CT — Gov. Ned Lamont asked more than 100 political appointees in executive branch agencies to submit their letters of resignation Thursday.

The moved was described by the administration as a reorganization effort, not necessarily a house cleaning one.

“Many individuals in unclassified appointment positions have served several administrations well, and their historical knowledge of state government has proven to be vital over the years. Therefore, a thorough review of each agency’s staffing needs and the associated unclassified appointment positions is an important step in our process,” Paul Mounds, Lamont’s chief operating officer, wrote in the letter.

The letter, which came out a day after Lamont released his two-year budget, had some employees concerned it was about reducing personnel costs. However, Lamont’s Communications Director Maribel La Luz said it was just a coincidence.

She said it doesn’t necessarily mean they will be reassigned or dismissed.

“It is common practice and allows us to work with the commissioners to figure out what they need to serve their constituents more efficiently,” she added.

The 151 unclassified employees who received the letters include communication directors for state agencies and legislative liaisons.

State agency commissioners submitted their resignations last year and many will serve through the end of the month before leaving state service. Lamont ended up keeping nine of former Gov. Dannel P. Malloy’s commissioners. The rest are expected to be replaced soon if they haven’t already been replaced.

Mounds asked employees to submit their letters of resignation by Feb. 28.

“Once the Governor’s Office has had a chance to review all submitted letters, we will reach out to you individually to discuss staffing and agency alignment,” Mounds wrote. “You have my commitment, working with you, that any potential changes to unclassified appointment position staffing at your agency will be conducted in a timely manner, understanding the impact that any decision may have on the individuals who currently hold these positions and the agency’s operations.”

Former Gov. M. Jodi Rell had turned at least 32 of the more than 100 positions into classified positions, but Malloy turned them back into “unclassified” positions a few years ago as part of the state budget to make it easier to fire or transfer them.