By Ann-Marie Mesquita, Staff Writer
HARTFORD — One of Gov. Dannel P. Malloy’s top aide will be leaving his post by the end of 2015.
In an announcement to the press on Monday, Malloy said the departure of his longtime Chief of Staff, Mark Ojakian is necessary. Ojakian has served in one of the state’s most powerful position for almost four years. Known as OJ inside the state capitol, Malloy’s top advisor works long hours and serves as his confidante on many issues. He has “a reputation for working people pretty hard.”
“I will miss working with Mark on a daily basis, but I understand it is time for him to turn the page to a different chapter in his life. Mark has been one of my most trusted friends and advisors,” Governor Malloy said. “Through his efforts, we have been able to make an agreement with labor that allowed the state to cut billions in long-term debt, passed an increase in the minimum wage, implemented paid sick leave, made record investments in transportation, and passed a sweeping reforms to our criminal justice system.”
Before joining Malloy’s office, Ojakian, 61, served as Deputy Secretary of the Office of Policy and Management and served as Deputy Comptroller under then-State Comptroller Nancy Wyman for 16 years.
In his role as Deputy Comptroller, he acted as senior policy advisor, oversaw over 250 employees, and had fiscal responsibility for over $1 billion in state accounts.
Malloy said Ojakian, who is openly gay, agreed to move on to another chapter in his life.
“It has been an honor to serve Governor Malloy. He is not only a dedicated, hardworking public servant who has put our state on the path of progress, but he has also been a great friend,” Ojakian said. “I will miss working with Governor Malloy.”
Ojakian lives in West Hartford with his husband, his two sons and two grandchildren.
Malloy is expected to announce Ojakian’s replacement in the coming weeks.