Governor names new acting DMV commissioner following last week's - WFSB 3 Connecticut

Governor names new acting DMV commissioner following last week's resignation

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Dennis Murphy will serve as the acting DMV commissioner. (WFSB file) Dennis Murphy will serve as the acting DMV commissioner. (WFSB file)

The governor has named a new Acting Commissioner of the Department of Motor Vehicles after following the previous commissioner’s resignation last week.

Andres Ayala Jr. submitted his resignation on Wednesday.

Ayala’s resignation comes after a year full of issues with the DMV, including a massive computer system glitch that caused long lines for customers and technical issues involving drivers’ vehicle registrations. Some towns are now dealing incorrect information on tax lists, causing drivers to get the wrong bill.

On Monday, Gov. Dannel P. Malloy named Dennis Murphy as the new acting DMV commissioner. The governor called Murphy "exceptionally smart, driven, and capable."

“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,” Malloy said in a statement on Monday.

Murphy will start as the acting DMV commissioner on Feb. 12. 

“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 said in a statement on Monday.

Governor Malloy appointed Ayala, who was a former state senator from Bridgeport, as his first Latino commissioner a little more than a year ago.  

Following the Ayala’s resignation on Jan. 20, Malloy released a statement where he said "the commissioner is a dedicated public servant to Connecticut, and I appreciate all of the work he’s done in so many different capacities both at the local and state levels. I want to thank him for his service and for his unwavering dedication to improving our state.” 

However, Eyewitness News learned that there were multiple calls for his resignation. Sources within the DMV said Ayala was given the option to resign or be removed.

"It's been a tough year for him and I think he has done as good job as good as he can do, and it was an opportune time for him to leave at this point," Malloy previously told Eyewitness News. 

The governor's office did not say if reported issues with the DMV were the reason for Ayala's resignation. 

Murphy currently serves as deputy commissioner of the Connecticut Department of Labor and said he is proud of his five years of work at the DOL. 

"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," Murphy said.

Murphy has previously served as a neutral labor arbitrator with the American Arbitration Association as well as the director of human resources for the city of Stamford and director of labor relations and chief administrative officer for the city of Bridgeport.  

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