Governor Lamont approaches a Republican attorney to run CT DCP

Bryan Cafferelli, legal counsel to the Republican minority in the Senate and former chief of staff to Lt. gov. Michael C. Fedele, is Gov. Ned Lamont’s election as Consumer Protection Commissioner.

If confirmed, Cafferelli will become the second Republican member of the Democratic governor’s cabinet to run alongside Mark Boughton, a former Danbury mayor who finished second in the 2018 GOP gubernatorial primary.

While his party affiliation is noted in the state Capitol, the Lamont administration highlighted Cafferelli’s experience as a prosecutor and, more recently, as an attorney overseeing drug enforcement in consumer protection.

“Bryan has extensive experience working in and around the Connecticut state government, including several years as an attorney for the Department of Consumer Protection in a role where he was required to oversee the agency’s drug enforcement cases, which is one of his most important responsibilities of our time,” Lamont said Monday.

Unlike Boughton, who is close to Lamont and advises him on infrastructure funding issues in addition to overseeing the Department of Revenue Services, Cafferelli did not have a similar relationship with the governor. His staff made the recommendation after verification.

The governor’s office was keen to include a complimentary quote from Senate President Pro Tem Martin M. Looney, D-New Haven, whose staff regularly engaged with Cafferelli on legislative matters.

“I have worked with Bryan in his role as adviser to the Republican faction in the Senate and have always found him to be very knowledgeable, fair and engaging,” Looney said. “I know he will bring those qualities to the Department of Consumer Protection and serve as an excellent commissioner and advocate for consumers.”

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With the legalization of online gambling and recreational cannabis, the DCP’s portfolio has expanded from its traditional roles of overseeing professional and professional licenses, alcohol control and food standards.

Cafferelli’s former boss, Fedele, runs an investment group that bought CTPharma, one of the four state-run medical marijuana growers.

Cafferelli could not be reached for comment on Monday.

In the governor’s press release, Cafferelli said, “I am honored by Governor Lamont’s confidence in me to lead this state agency, and I look forward to joining this group of talented professionals to advance the department’s mission.”

He will succeed Michelle Seagull as commissioner.