Governor Christie Announces Departure of Three Long-Serving Cabinet Officials

Governor Christie Announces Departure of Three Long-Serving Cabinet Officials

Treasurer Andrew Sidamon-Eristoff, Health Commissioner Mary O'Dowd and

Banking Commissioner Ken Kobylowski To Move On After Years Of Service

Trenton, NJ -Governor Christie today announced the departure of three long-serving cabinet members, along with new leaders for those posts. State Treasurer Andrew Sidamon-Eristoff, Health Commissioner Mary O'Dowd and Banking and Insurance Commissioner Ken Kobylowski will leave the administration over the next several weeks.

In addition to the changes in these departments, the Governor also is announcing the formal nomination of Elizabeth Connolly as Commissioner of the Department of Human Services. Connolly became Acting Commissioner on February 28, 2015. She has worked in various roles at the department for 26 years and began her career in the department's Division of Family Development and worked in child welfare reform as Director of Data Analysis and Reporting in the Office of Children's Services. Connolly also served as Director of Research and Evaluation, Special Assistant to the Commissioner and led the department's Sandy recovery initiatives and emergency preparedness activities related to Ebola Virus Disease. Prior to her nomination as Commissioner, Connolly most recently was the department's Chief of Staff.

Department of Treasury:

Nominated by Governor Christie and confirmed by the New Jersey State Senate on February 22, 2010, Treasurer Andrew Sidamon-Eristoff has been responsible for managing a state department with more than ten divisions, almost 3,100 employees, and an annual operating budget of $200 million.

Deputy Treasurer Robert A. Romano will become Acting Treasurer. As Deputy State Treasurer, Romano is active in the management and operation of all Treasury activities, advising the Treasurer on issues related to procurement, pension and benefits, property management, public finance and lottery. Romano has twenty years of experience with the Department of Law & Public Safety's Division of Law. He is formerly a New Jersey Assistant Attorney General in Charge of Financial Affairs, where he supervised the work of four sections within the Division: Treasury, Transportation, Construction and Condemnation, Banking and Insurance, and Debt Recovery. Romano also served as Deputy Attorney General dealing with matters related to Treasury, the Housing Mortgage Finance Agency, and the Environmental Infrastructure Trust. He is a graduate of Rutgers Law School, the University of Michigan and Rutgers College.

Department of Health:

Mary E. O'Dowd first joined the Department of Health in January 2008 as Chief of Staff, subsequently serving as Deputy Commissioner for a year prior to becoming Commissioner in April 2011. During her tenure, she has been responsible for a staff of more than 1,200 and a budget of $1.9 billion.

Catherine Bennett, the Department's Director of Policy and Strategic Planning, will become acting commissioner. Bennett joined the Department as Director of Policy and Strategic Planning in August 2010.

She has directed strategic public health and healthcare delivery initiatives including healthcare quality assessment, health statistics and informatics, population health and health equity, regional health planning, and health information technology. Prior to joining the Department, Bennett worked as an executive in the private sector, providing consulting, strategy, and management services to federal and state health and human services agencies. Bennett holds a Master of Government Administration from the University of Pennsylvania, a Juris Doctorate from The Dickinson School of Law, and a Bachelor of Arts from Villanova University.

Department of Banking and Insurance:

Governor Christie nominated Ken Kobylowski to serve as Commissioner of Banking and Insurance on January 30, 2012 and was confirmed by the Senate on December 20, 2012. Kobylowski joined the Department as Chief of Staff in February 2010 and took on the additional role of Acting Director of Banking in October 2011.

Governor Christie will nominate Richard J. Badolato to replace Kobylowski as Commissioner of Banking and Insurance. Badolato is a partner at the law firm of Connell Foley in Roseland. He has expertise in civil trial litigation including medical, legal, and dental malpractice; products liability; automobile litigation; insurance coverage and policy interpretation and subrogation recovery. Badolato has served as President of the New Jersey State Bar Association, President of the New Jersey State Bar Foundation as well as Chairman for the Supreme Court Advisory Committee on Professional Ethics. He also served as Chairman of the Supreme Court of New Jersey Commission on Professionalism in the Law. Badolato is a graduate of Rutgers School of Law and Fairfield University.

Badolato is expected to begin his service on August 1, 2015.


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