He has served as deputy commissioner of the Connecticut Department of Labor for five years, has even filled in as acting commissioner and now Bridgeport resident Dennis Murphy will try to steer the Department of Motor Vehicles in the right direction after another Bridgeport resident Andres Ayala resigned as commissioner following a troubling year at the helm that led to long lines and short tempers from the public. Governor Dan Malloy announced on Monday that Murphy will serve as acting commissioner of the DMV starting February 12 until he names a permanent leader of the agency.
“Dennis is exceptionally smart, driven, and capable,” said Malloy in a statement. “He has the management abilities to lead the agency until we find the right person to fill this important role on a permanent basis. He has been an outstanding public servant, and I thank him for taking on this job.”
“I’m proud of my five years of service at the Department of Labor,” said Murphy. “We have led the nation in programs such as Step-Up, which gets people back to work, programs to ensure the integrity of the unemployment system to reduce fraud, and expanding our capacity and effectiveness to ensure that people who work get paid what they deserve. I want to thank the highly talented and dedicated staff at all levels for their hard work and steadfast focus on the customer. In my short assignment at the DMV, I hope to provide the Governor and the next DMV Commissioner opportunities and pathways forward in that agency for continuous improvement.”
Murphy, a graduate of Fairfield University and Boston University School of Law, is no stranger to Bridgeport government. Shortly after Joe Ganim was elected in his first tenure as mayor in 1991, he appointed Murphy director of Labor Relations. Murphy served as the point person negotiating union concessions while Ganim pulled the city out of federal bankruptcy court placed there by his predecessor Mary Moran. Ganim then elevated Murphy to chief administrative officer overseeing department heads. Murphy left Bridgeport to join Malloy’s mayoral administration in Stamford as director of Human Resources.
Murphy is the spouse of former Bridgeport Democratic Town Chair John Stafstrom, a partner at the Bridgeport-based law firm Pullman & Comley which serves as city bond counsel. Both were early supporters of Malloy for governor.