Malloy Aide Occhiogrosso Departing

by Categorized: Gov. Dannel Malloy Date:

Roy Occhiogrosso, a top aide to Gov. Dannel P. Malloy, is resigning and will depart by the end of the year.

\"\"Malloy made the announcement at a press conference this morning.

Malloy and Occhiogrosso declined to explain the reason for the abrupt departure except that it was the plan all along for his top advisor to depart after a year. Malloy said he convinced Occhiogrosso to stay an additional year.

\”I have been fortunate to have smart and talented people work for me…and Roy embodies that,\’\’ Malloy said. \”We\’ve been at this together for a long time…he is someone I have relied on, the lieutenant governor has relied on and he will be greatly missed.\”

Occhiogrosso, 47, ran Malloy\’s campaign for governor and has been a political organizer, consultant and key advisor to Democrats in Connecticut for more than two decades. He is a former partner with Global Strategies Group, a political public relations and consulting company. He previously served as a press aide Bill Curry when he ran for governor in 1992. Before that he served as policy and communications director for the state Democratic party. He is a 1986 graduate of the University of Connecticut.

Asked if he is abandoning the governor at a key time, when he tries to balance a budget gap that the comptroller\’s office estimates at $415 million, Occhiogrosso said \”every day is a critical time here. I\’m not sure that there\’s been a time in the last two years where you couldn\’t have said that. I think he does a great job. If I\’ve been some small part of helping him get done what he wanted to get done…then I\’m happy about it.\”

He will remain on the job through the end of the year, then he plans to take a vacation. He said he is \”working on finalizing something and I should know more in the next couple of weeks.\’\’

\”I personally think people tend to stay in these jobs too long sometimes and I had a great time. Time to do something else,\’\’ Occhiogrosso said.

\”We are going to have to do more with less staff,\’\’ said Mark Ojakian, Malloy\’s chief of staff. \”Roy had a unique skill-set which you cannot replace. He had not only a very close personal relationship with the governor but was able to work closely with the rest of the administration and with a lot of people in the media…so that\’s not replaceable.\”

Ojakian said Occhiogrosso\’s departure will lead to a more significant role for Andrew Doba, the governor\’s spokesman, as well as other aides. \”We\’re still deciding who\’s going to do what,\’\’ Ojakian said. \”The message will stay the same.\”

Occhiogrosso, who is paid $160,000 per year, had his greatest political triumphs under Malloy after a series of high-profile losses. He had two major wins with Malloy – defeating Ned Lamont in the 2010 gubernatorial primary and then winning the general election against Republican Tom Foley. That was Occhiogrosso’s biggest victory since Bill Curry’s win in the 1994 Democratic primary against then-Senate President Pro Tem John B. Larson. Larson went on to become the fourth-highest-ranking member of the U.S. House of Representatives and a friend of Speaker Nancy Pelosi, while Curry never again held elective office. Curry, with Occhiogrosso by his side, lost to Republican John Rowland in the 1994 general election.

Occhiogrosso’s losses included the 2006 Democratic primary loss by Malloy against New Haven mayor John DeStefano, the 2002 gubernatorial election with Curry, the 2006 primary defeat for U.S. Sen. Joe Lieberman, and Congressional losses by Democrat Jim Sullivan against U.S. Rep. Rob Simmons in 2004 and Democrat Diane Farrell in 2006 against U.S. Rep. Chris Shays. The year 2006 was a low point with losses by Malloy, Lieberman, and Farrell.



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77 thoughts on “Malloy Aide Occhiogrosso Departing

  1. Hermanfromhartford

    Is this the first sign of a sinking ship?

    Hopefully the next chief of staff wont blame Rowland for all of Malloy Administrations ills.

  2. Chris Healy

    Roy Occhiogrosso is a pro and has served his Governor well. The proof is how much fire he draws to himself and away from the Governor. Whatever you think about him or his politics, Roy is a warrior. Bad day for Malloy but good for Roy.

    1. Da Troof

      That’s a fair point. However, now that the Governor needs the other side to work with him on REAL budget solutions, perhaps it was time to choose someone less confrontational.

    2. Rose

      “His Governor” is OUR Governor, as we are thankfully one state.

      I agree that Roy has been extremely effective and both a warrior and a pro. His competence, experience and diligence are unquestionable. And, he wouldn’t have had to be the public face of many battles if these were easy times in Connecticut. Governor Malloy has been willing and able to do what others refused to do – make tough decisions and actually act like a Governor. That has required tough and competent leadership, like Roy’s.

      1. chris ryan

        yeah – he raised taxes and gave state employees a 4 yr no layoff deal. What a guy! Are you Malloys cousin or something? Don’t forget Rowland was governor in a blue state – his hands were tied!

        1. Rose

          Yes, and in doing so he turned a $3.6 Billion dollar deficit down to less than $400 million. In other words, a turnaround of $3.2 Billion. In addition to implementing what is likely the most significant education reform legislation in the state’s history. These were major battles and effectiveness doesn’t always mean easy.

          Its easy to criticize and find fault with taxes or contracts or any executive decisions. On all sides, everyone can find something they didn’t like. My point is simply that in tough times tough decisions needed to be made – and they were by Governor Malloy. If he didn’t act as Governor and simply appointed another blue ribbon commission like prior governors our state deficit would probably now be 5 or 6 times worse than it was.

        2. Rose

          You do realize that Rowland was a crook, right? He abused his office and the public’s trust in disgusting ways. And less we forget, he even admitted and plead guilty to stealing more than $100,000 in services while Governor. He was as corrupt as could be.

          He served his prison sentence and that’s all fine and dandy. I just wouldn’t exactly use him as an example of some shining star.

      2. rc

        Our state has gone down to the worst state in the US, since malloy and group took office?
        Yes Roy is a leader he put us in a hole.

      3. Kim

        You’re absolutely right, Rose. Us taxpayers have no idea just how difficult it was for Malloy to roll over for the unions and slap the rest of us with yet more taxes. Tough indeed

    3. Marie

      Good riddance….a rude and insulting excuse for a public servant. He may want to enroll in anger management classes.

  3. IgnoranceIsBliss

    I disagree with the notion that by drawing fire to himself, that helps a Governor. If used in certain, but seldom, circumstances, I would agree. For Roy, it was constant and over-the-top, sometimes responding to trivial attacks. It got old and created an aura of arrogance and disrespect in the Executive. I think the Governor is going through a period where he needs to express some humility, Roy would not seem to be the best for that job.

  4. chris ryan

    Herman from Hartford you are right on! However, it is now the first sign of sinking ship. He is diving off a sinking ship. He is not a pro! He is an arrogant person whose words are finally coming back to bite him! Years of surpluses etc?? Wow did that change in a hurry!

    1. Geoffy

      “Power always thinks it has a great soul and vast views beyond the comprehension of the weak; and that it is doing God’s service, when it is violating all His laws.”

      John Adams, letter to Thomas Jefferson, February 2, 1816

  5. Bruce Rubenstein

    Roy brought alot to the executive branch,namely a good working sense of the legislative process,intellectual dexterity and tremendous loyalty to the Governor.He will end up somewhere after vacation and wherever that is,he will be effective.

    1. Marie

      Effective at what? Berating and insulting people..he can fill in for Judge Judy or he can get some therapy.

    2. Kim

      Bruce – Roy had all those talents and somehow managedd to waste them on blind support of the wrong policies. History shows Himmler as being an organizational genius but should we commend him for that or look at the results of his actions? I realize that the use of Himmler is a little extreme, but it makes the point.

  6. Tony Terzi

    Roy is a real pro, who will be missed by the Governor and the Connecticut Democratic Party. Best wishes in your future endeavors, Roy!

  7. John Steel

    Oh No! Who will spend all day surfing online commentary and reporting anyone who says something negative about the Governor to the State Police as a potential terrorist?

    I suspect that in the next couple weeks it will be quietly announced that Mr. Occhiogrosso has taken a very well paying job with one of the companies to which the Governor has been shoveling money and tax breaks. Just as Malloy will do when he is kicked out of office in two years.

  8. Benny from the Bronx

    Let’s be honest, Roy is simply not interested in paying his “fair share” or Obamacare tax increases, so he quit.

    He will sit home and collect his 99 weeks while watching Katie Couric (he doesn’t care for Jerry Springer) and join the rest of America.

  9. Vern

    The Governor’s attack dog will move on to greener pastures. The only chief of staff in CT history as loathsome was M. Lisa Moody. Good riddance!

  10. Henry Hotlove

    Was Roy one of the guys who negotiated the great contract with the State union which doesn’t allow layoffs for 4 years and got all those great ideas in the “suggestion box” that was to save us $150,000,000 per year? He will be missed by all the beneficiaries of our hard earned tax dollars and other liberal pets.

    1. Sydney

      If you mean the guy who cut state employee pay, negotiated no raises, negotiated an additional 10,000 contribution from each of us towards pensions, took back the one raise we did get from the last concession package with Granny Rell while cutting nothing from himself and hiring even more management? Yes, that’s the guy.

          1. The Conn-servative

            Don’t forget that Granny Rell also gave state employees a two year no layoff deal as part of their concession agreement. So my math says that in the worst recession since the Great Depression, state employees have enjoyed guaranteed job security for 6 straight years.Any private sector companies offering this?(sounds of crickets chirping…)

  11. America Is Dying

    Occhiogrosso, Roy
    Governor’s Office
    Executive office adminaide2
    Pay Rate

  12. Good Day for Connecticut

    He may have been effective and efficient but the manner in which he put down anyone who might dare disagree with any of the Governor’s policies created resentment towards him, and in turn towards the Governor. I for one will not miss his arrogance and snarkeyness at all. There is more to his resignation than meets the eye here.

  13. John Bassilakis

    To be as nice as I can, Roy O is vile and serves as poster boy for punk and mean-spirited.

    An bully but one that has to resort to foul language to get his point across – the point is he lacks sophistication.

    Being so close to Malloy speaks volumes for the character of the Governor, himself.

  14. Henry Hotlove

    Not good to see America turning into Connecticut. 5000 jobs created in CT in 4 years is not good. Roy was part of the problem.


    Good Riddance!!
    Roy O. a truly loathesome individual and that is saying a lot coming from his putrid party.

  16. su

    This guy is a MAJOR LEAGUE LOSER. The ONLY ONLY reason why DANNY BOY is KING is because the ex SOS kept the pols in the cesspool of Bridgeport open for a couple of extra hours while the UNION THUGS gave precompleted voting records out to the social losers who vote for the ‘RATS.

  17. Fitzgerald

    I am just constantly shocked by the enormous salaries all these public officials make. Connecticut Democrats talk about the 1%, when their salaries put them in the 3%.

    There just doesn’t seem to be any public interest in politics anymore – it’s all about getting the huge pay day for “being loyal to the party.” I’m sorry, but most of these overpaid public officials couldn’t get a job making half as much in the private sector.

    And for all of you mourning this loss, I’m sure Roy is getting some politically connected job, in which he will lobby his former co-workers. Financially, he will be fine. And for the record, no matter what Malloy does, he stands a very good chance of getting re-elected, let’s not kid ourselves, this is a digustingly blue state.

    1. Marie

      I disagree….many, many state employees, state troopers and teachers will never ever vote for Malloy..the rank and file do not support him despite what you hear from the union reps….43,000 teachers will not reelect this hack. Better get something in DC because Dannel is one and done!

      1. alan

        while they may support another democrat they will certainly not vote republican. Teachers vote 90% democratic, and regular state workers 85%- public safety about 75%. What are you talking about

      2. Fitzgerald

        Give me a break. You say that now, but no union member is going to vote for a Republican, no matter how reasonable he/she may be. Just look at the Esty/Roraback race. Roraback is basically a liberal Democrat and yet he lost because there is an R after his name. Malloy will likely get another four years to tax, borrow and spend.

      3. snafubar

        I don’t believe it. They will vote for Malloy AGAIN so they can all feather their beds at the taxpayers expense.

  18. Will Fish

    Get rid of some of the useless managers at DESPP. That agency has been destroyed by Malloy and his incompetent Commissioner and Colonels. Bring back DPS! Bring back the professionalism that is sorely lacking in this present administration.

  19. Daniel B.

    Regardless of his value to the Governor, he was more focused on politics than helping to govern and balance a budget. Connecticut is in dire financial shape and needs to cut spending. The benefits of state workers are unsustainable. The state needs to do what the private sector did years ago. Do state workers deserve more than the rest of our population? Pensions need to be fair but need dramatic change. Retiree health is something unknown to most of the private sector. It appears that we are like the former Soviet Union and state workers like the politburo receive preference over the rest of us. Mr. Ochigrosso doesn’t care since he would rather rant and name call than do what’s right, so don’t let the door hit you on the way out.

  20. JoanieW

    So a political operative was running the budget…and Now we are shocked we are deeper in the F****** Hole?

  21. stephen brown

    Roy O……the perfect representative of a vile and despicable Democrat won’t be missed.

  22. Mitch

    These upper level government people are all crooks and the biggest, most self centered end up in DC and continually get voted back there. Malloy is still a little man in a big state and he is doing his best to wreck it. Occhiogrosso is another flunky, there will quickly be another one to fill his shoes and he will be long forgotten in a very short time. Time for the people of Connecticut to wise up when it comes to voting for the characters they put in office. We’re all paying a steep price and seems to be getting more expensive, yet what do you have to show for it?

    1. Karen

      I agree, but the sad reality that when election time comes around, we often have only a choice between two evils.

  23. alan

    I have googled and could be wrong but no evidence of wife or kids or evidence of working in anything but politics. A lot of guys like him, Maley, and others get into power because they have nothing better to do than attend meetings 3/4 nights a week, go for drinks afterwards and schmooze. Productive people who make things or provide services typically have families and cant do the benind the scenes things that occur on weeknights until 10PM. Many aldermen resign for personal reasons, the dont make a career out of being operatives for Curry(gone many years) etc and dont count as accomplishments winning Democratic races in this one party state. We need more people who actually do things in positions of power, not dilettentes(sp)

  24. Ken

    Do you need any more evidence that Malloy will be leaving soon for a position in the Obama Administration? The rats are leaving the ship…and the taxpayers will be left with that stuff you find in the bottom of the ship.

  25. bahmi

    Roy has done such a super job he deserves, some day, to be the first rider on the “Malloy Freedom Bus Line”. We are in the throes of an idiot, imagine Malloy down in DC spewing his inanities and drivel. “Spend yourselves out of debt, it’s the American way”. Take him away, please.

  26. Quan

    Roy gotta get out of town before that disastrous “deal” he engineered with the unions comes home to roost. Next year, when Malloy is scrounging for scraps to make the budget numbers work, the unions can sit back, drink a beer, watch the show, pass wind and laugh. All thanks to Roy.

    Thank you Roy.

  27. John

    Been in CT all my life (61 yrs)… need to
    move on.. can’t wait to here from my grandkids… Grandpa we are moving to India, better quality of life and more jobs. Why can these jokers spend money they don’t have?… we can’t.

  28. snafubar

    The DemonRats stole the election for Malloy in Bridgeport. His administration and the Connecticut DemonRat party is criminal, corrupt and immoral. This is just the beginning of the end. The chickens are coming home to roost. It will be fascinating to watch the crash.

  29. Karen

    Good. One less loyal member of this poisonous administration. Although I am a Democrat, I really believe Malloy is the worst governor this state has had in my lifetime. I have never seen anyone so arrogant and bull-headed, with so little desire to compromise and so much determination to get his way in everything. He has run the deficit up significantly and done nothing at all that has helped the state in any way.

    1. Da Troof

      Karen, I hope you do the right thing in 2 years and vote him out. We can’t afford the Government he’s selling.

  30. danno

    Are you people sure he is jumping ship? Maybe he’s just getting ready to run the reelection campaign….

    If not, my second guess is he will open a lobbying firm. Thats what most of the overpaid campaign managers end up doing.

  31. rick baldwin

    This foul-mouth pig must have been caught doing something.He can probably retire on full pension.

  32. Da Troof

    I’m really feelin’ the love for Roy and Dannel. Better get those extra bags of Bridgeport ballots ready now just in case.

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