Gov.-elect Dan Malloy this morning named state Supreme Court Justice Joette Katz as the new commissioner of the state Department of Children and Families (DCF), an infamously troubled state agency.
Katz is a bold choice for both Malloy and Katz. The latter gives up a lifetime appointment on the Supreme Court to try to right the listing ship that is DCF. The agency has been under federal court supervision since 1991. It’s enormous budget and near-constant examples of failure frequently make headlines.
Before being named to the Superior Court by Gov. William O’Neill in 1989 at the age of just 36, Katz was chief of legal services in the Office of Public Defender. She was named to the state Supreme Court by Gov. Lowell Weicker in 1992. She is seen as dependably liberal–a progressive in general.
Reaching into the state Supreme Court for a new commissioner makes yet another splash for Malloy who has now made three impressive appointments in his new administration. Before today’s announcement, he named Timothy Bannon as his chief of staff and Ben Barnes as his budget director. Both of those choices have generated little if any criticism and in fact, have been widely praised as excellent selections.