Kelly Donnelly to become Chief of Staff for Connecticut Department of Education

The key role of Chief of Staff for Governor Dannel Malloy’s State Department of Education will go to Kelly Donnelly who was brought in from New Jersey in December 2012 to serves as former Commissioner of Education Stefan Pryor’s PR person.

Although Donnelly has no work experience in public education and her only education policy experience is as the agency’s communications person, multiple sources confirm that Commissioner of Education Dianna Wentzel will by-pass numerous qualified professional staff to hand the Chief of Staff duties to Donnelly.

Donnelly will be replacing Adam Goldfarb, who resigned earlier this year soon after Stefan Pryor left Connecticut to become Rhode Island’s Economic Development Commissioner.

Goldfarb, a Yale Law School graduate, came with Pryor from New Jersey.  Goldfarb served as one of Pryor’s policy advisors in Newark, New Jersey and spent time as Pryor’s intern when Pryor worked for the Lower Manhattan Development Corporation.

Goldfarb was initially brought in under the title of Executive Assistant, but then immediately was made Chief of Staff with a starting salary of $99,000, up 33 percent from what he was making as Pryor’s assistant in New Jersey.  Goldfarb finished up his duty as a Connecticut public servant earlier this year with a salary of $116,000

You can read more about Pryor and Goldfarb at Oh, it’s good to be King, or at least Commissioner of Education and What is Commissioner Pryor’s Chief of Staff doing as the Vice President of a Charter School Board of Directors?

Donnelly was hired as Pryor’s Communication Director with a starting salary of $82,000.  It is unclear what her salary will be as the State Department of Education’s Chief of Staff.

Prior to coming to Connecticut, most of Donnelly’s experience was with political campaigns in New Jersey and Long Island although she did spend nearly two years in 2010-2011 with 1st Light Energy Inc, where she, “Oversaw residential and commercial photovoltaic (solar system) installations for the entire scope of the project.”

Donnelly, who is from Edison, New Jersey graduated from Notre Dame in 2002 with a BA in Liberal Studies.

One of Donnelly’s most recent responsibilities was serving as the agency’s spokesperson during the Malloy administration’s ongoing attempt to mislead, harass and bully parents who were trying to opt their children out of the unfair and inappropriate Common Core SBAC tests.  Her quotes can be found via any search about Connecticut’s SBAC testing scheme.

  • buygoldandprosper

    The Clown Prince, Dan Malloy, is destroying this state as quickly as he can. I really like the way he is looting the public treasury…Twelve percent here, eighteen percent there. Big visions cost big money under. I wonder if his wife has been receiving raises at GHAC? Or his spawn at the theater that needed so much state money to open…
    From solar installations to Chief of Staff of the Department of Education…only in Danny’s State of Corrupticut!
    He has a plan…unlike the other guy.

    • jhs

      give a lot of credit to Sharkey and Looney for their bad policies and being owned by the unions who they will never approach for concessions.

  • Sleepless in Bridgeport

    Has Danny come back from Paris yet? Another announcement today that some Hartford Healthcare company is laying off 400 some odd CT workers. Connecticut where Bullshit is King.

  • jhs

    in the real world, all jobs would have been frozen during a deficit reduction. So this job would have stayed open. Malloy wouldn’t have filled the Director of Culture at 115k, or hire a Democrat losing candidate for 85k which Malloy did. But we know CT state govt is far from the real world.

  • buygoldandprosper

    More spin from Malloy and his cabal in Hartford…at a cost of at least $15000. of taxpayer money:

    “The majority Democrats in the Connecticut House of Representatives are hiring an outside media consulting firm to review the caucus’ communications operations and recommend how it can improve getting its message out to the public.”
    Too dumb to understand that their message is out already.

  • Buygoldandprosper

    Say goodbye to Cigna, Danny! Indiana will take jobs while Danny will
    give raises to his boot-lickers and enrich himself while Connecticut continues to decline…nice work Malloy.
    Very much like Danny, the Cigna exec was just looking out for himself and not the shareholders.

  • buygoldandprosper

    And Danny’s butt-buddies collect in all sorts of ways:

    “Stamford school board’s Finance Committee unanimously voted to extend the contract for AFB Construction Management for three years, with no discussion about cost-effectiveness.
    The board has a history of not questioning AFB, the controversial Trumbull contractor it has employed to manage school buildings and grounds for 15 years. AFB is headed by Al Barbarotta, a friend of Gov. Dannel Malloy since Malloy was Stamford mayor and hired him to manage city facilities in 1999.”
    Yup. Dan, the friend of the working man could not wait to get his scab, mobster friend onto the public teat. Al…who at least got back some taxpayer money from UBS with a trip and fall lawsuit.
    Long live Corrupticut!

  • buygoldandprosper

    “But that is not as good a deal for taxpayers as it sounds, because last year the school board gave Barbarotta an increase of 42 percent, hiking his fee from $522,769 a year to $742,144. School board members did that even though they had just cut 13 jobs because of budget constraints.
    The $742,144 covers salaries for Barbarotta and five AFB employees. They manage city employees who maintain and repair school property, and Barbarotta hires subcontractors for certain projects.
    Most of last year’s AFB increase was for salary and benefits for Richard Lyons, who had just stepped down from his seat on the Board of Education to take a job with Barbarotta”

    Danny Malloy…a corrupt politician. That is who he is. That is what he is.

    • buygoldandprosper

      Sounds like the charter schools!

      “How I distribute the funds is my company’s business,” Barbarotta told The Advocate at the time. Because of the type of contract he has with the school board, officials have no say over where the money goes, Barbarotta said.