State officials are clashing over whether Gov. Dannel P. Malloy is “hands off” regarding the higher education system.
The dust-up began after it was revealed that Malloy’s chief of staff, Mark Ojakian, had asked Lewis Robinson to step down as chairman of the Board of Regents for Higher Education. Malloy has the authority to appoint the chairman of the board, but he no longer has the authority to choose the president of the system. The president oversees the four-campus Connecticut State University system and the state’s community colleges.
“First of all, we’re very hands-off on this,” Ojakian told Capitol Watch in an interview. “This is the appointment of the governor. We were the ones who introduced legislation in the last session that made the appointment of the president of the system an appointment of the board. We did not select the new president of the system. We made no recommendation to anyone on the board about who to select.”
But House Republican leader Larry Cafero said the characterization is wrong.
“To make the statement that we’re totally hands off, when your chief of staff just asked the chairman to resign, is false,” Cafero told Capitol Watch. “It’s not true. It’s inaccurate. It’s only because of Mark Ojakian that this man resigned.” Continue reading