Gov. Shumlin makes staffing changes - WCAX.COM Local Vermont News, Weather and Sports-

Gov. Shumlin makes staffing changes

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Big changes within the Shumlin administration were announced Tuesday.

Energy expert and former commissioner of Public Service Liz Miller will now serve as the governor's chief of staff. Gov. Peter Shumlin's current chief of staff, Bill Lofy, will step down to accept a job with the Democratic Governors Association. The administration says Shumlin is expected to be selected as the DGA chair in December.

Shumlin's campaign manager, Alex MacLean, will take a job in the private sector, and Patrick Flood will step down as mental health commissioner. Both Flood and Shumlin say Vermont needs help transitioning out of its emergency state after Irene flooded the state hospital.

"We're starting to come up with issues that really require more of a clinical leadership than I can provide," Flood said. "I really think that's the direction the department goes in. Having Mary Moulton step in is exactly what we should be doing."

"We have moved this state to what I believe will be the best community-based mental health system in America," said Shumlin, D-Vermont.

Mary Moulton of Washington County Mental Health will take over for Flood while the administration launches a nationwide search to find a mental health professional to replace him.

Other changes include Chris Recchia replacing Liz Miller at the Public Service Department. Recchia is currently the deputy secretary of Natural Resources.

Dixie Henry will become the deputy secretary of Natural Resources. Henry currently works in the Health Department.

Steve Kimbell will retire from his job as commissioner of Financial Regulation. Kimbell has been a key figure in launching the governor's single-payer health care effort. Susan Doneghan, the deputy commissioner of Financial Regulation, will become the commissioner.

Shumlin was re-elected to a second term last week. It's common for governors to make changes in their staff before the Legislature begins a new session in January.

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