Biographies of Commission Members

Chairperson

Charles E. Tiernan, III

Charles E. Tiernan, Ill has been an attorney with the New Haven law firm of Lynch, Traub, Keefe & Errante since 1983. He was named a Partner in 1988.  Attorney Tiernan began his career handling civil litigation and labor matters.  Attorney Tiernan also provided representation in family matters where he tried a number of marriage dissolution and child custody cases.  He now concentrates his practice on criminal defense, juvenile matters and workers' compensation matters. Attorney Tiernan regularly appears in the criminal courts throughout the State of Connecticut.  He has extensive experience in all phases of criminal law and litigation including trials in both State and Federal court. Attorney Tiernan also handles cases involving all aspects of workers' compensation and matters before other state administrative agencies. His representation in juvenile matters includes handling delinquency and neglect petitions. Attorney Tiernan has argued appeals before the Connecticut Supreme Court and Connecticut Appellate Court.

Attorney Tiernan received his B.A. from Trinity College in 1980. He graduated from Drake University School of Law in December 1982. He was a member of the Board of Editors of the Drake Law Review and authored a note for the Drake Law Review entitled "Standing Barriers to Citizen and Taxpayers Suits in the Federal Court". 32 Drake Law Review 2, 1983.

Attorney Tiernan was admitted to the Connecticut Bar on May 3, 1983. He is also admitted to the United States District Court, the United States Tax Court, the United States Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit and the United States Supreme Court. Attorney Tiernan is a member of the American, Connecticut and New Haven County Bar Associations, the Connecticut Criminal Defense Lawyers' Association and is a member of the Criminal Law Executive Committee of the Connecticut Bar Association. Attorney Tiernan has been a panel member and lectured in various seminars dealing with workers' compensation and cases involving operating under the influence. Attorney Tiernan has had articles published in the State of Connecticut Workers' Compensation Quarterly.

Attorney Tiernan has been appointed a member of the Ansonia-Milford Judicial District Grievance Panel of the Connecticut Grievance Committee several times throughout his career. Attorney Tiernan served as an adjunct professor at Quinnipiac University from 1989-2011 teaching courses involving Introduction to Law and Family Law.

Attorney Tiernan is rated “AV” by Martindale-Hubbell, its highest rating.  He has been listed in The Best Lawyers in America since 2007 and has been listed in the Super Lawyers publication since 2006. In 2018, Attorney Tiernan was elected constable for the Town of Branford. 

Edward R. Lennon, Jr.

Edward R. Lennon, Jr. is the Chief of Police of the East Haven Police Department, a position he has held since 2016.  Prior to his appointment as Chief of Police, Chief Lennon held the ranks of Sergeant, Lieutenant and Deputy Chief, and numerous assignments throughout his tenure.  During his career with the Department, he served as the Compliance Coordinator for the Settlement Agreement between the Town of East Haven and the U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ).  Upon completion of the strict terms of the Settlement Agreement, the Department showed unprecedented and significant compliance with all objectives, due largely in part to the oversight of Chief Lennon.  The SA was dismissed after the Department met full compliance in December 2017.  The U.S. Department of Justice and the Joint Compliance Expert praised his efforts to move the Department forward. 

Chief Lennon has a strong commitment to developing and training employees to the highest standards of constitutional policing while also making sure the Department has and continues to have the most contemporary policies. Chief Lennon has made it his commitment to the East Haven community as well as the law enforcement profession to ensure that police are highly trained and educated, accountable for their actions, transparent, and responsive to the needs of their community.

Chief Lennon holds a Bachelor of Science in Criminal Justice as well as a Master’s Degree in National Security and Public Safety Management from the University of New Haven. More recently, Chief Lennon completed the Harvard University John F. Kennedy School of Government Senior Executives in State and Local Government executive training program and the 2016 New England Law Enforcement Executive Development Seminar sponsored by the Federal Bureau of Investigation (F.B.I.). Chief Lennon is a graduate of the 66th session of the Police Executive Research Forum (P.E.R.F.) Senior Management Institute for Police (S.M.I.P.) and the 258th session of the F.B.I. National Academy.

Chief Lennon is a HOPE Family Justice Center of Greater New Haven Board Member, and was a recipient of the 2017 International Association of Chiefs of Police (IACP) 40 Under 40 Award and the 2018 Police Commissioners Association of Connecticut Distinguished Chief Award.

 

Kenneth Saccente

Kenneth (Ken) Saccente is a seventeen year veteran of the Connecticut State Capitol, having worked for both the Connecticut House of Representatives and the Connecticut Senate. He served in a variety of roles working for Democratic leadership in the House, serving the Majority Leader of the House for two years followed by ten years in the Office of the Speaker. While working for the House he held a variety of positions including Special Assistant to the Speaker and as a Policy Analyst.

Ken has spent the last four years working for the Majority Leader of the Senate rising to the position of Senior Advisor. He has shepherded all of the Majority Leader’s initiatives and bills through the process as well as assisted with floor operations. Major legislation he has worked on has included campaign finance reform and school security. During his time at the Capitol he has worked collegially with legislators and earned respect from both sides of the aisle.  

In addition to his daily responsibilities Ken served on the Connecticut Lottery Board of Directors for nine years. During his tenure the Lottery achieved record sales of over $1 billion per year and transfers to the General Fund reach over $300 million for the first time.  Ken has also volunteered as a Cub Scout leader and served on the executive board of the New Haven Chapter of the UConn Alumni Association.

Ken is a graduate of the University of Connecticut and lives in Orange with his wife Mara and their children Anna and Nathan and their dog Fritz.

 

Annette Sanderson

Annette Sanderson has served as the Executive Director of The Housing Authority of the City of Hartford since, February 2012.  Prior to that date, she served as the General Counsel of the Authority from 2008 until January 2012.

 

She has the following certifications in area of Public Housing:  Public Housing Management (PHM), Housing Choice Voucher Executive Management, Low Income Housing Tax Credits, and Capital Improvement Funds.

   

Ms. Sanderson previously served as the Executive Director of the Capital City Economic Development Authority (“CCEDA”).   She has also been previously employed by Cigna Investment Management as a Vice-President/Asset Manager and by the Office of the State Treasurer as an Assistant Investment Officer for the State Pension Fund.

 

Ms. Sanderson currently serves on the following Boards:  the Connecticut Chapter of the National Association of Redevelopment Officials (Conn NAHRO), and the New England Regional Council of the National Association of Redevelopment Officials (NERC NAHRO).  She has previously served on the following Boards:  Hartford Public Library, Covenant Preparatory School, Executive Committee of the Society of Alumni of Amherst College.

 

Ms. Sanderson was born and raised in Hartford, Connecticut.  She is a graduate of Amherst College, and the University of Connecticut School of Law.  She is a member of the Connecticut Bar.

Amanda Klay 

Amanda is currently pursuing her J.D. from Quinnipiac University School of Law where she is a recipient of an endowed University scholarship awarded to students with a demonstrated commitment to Public Interest law. She dedicates substantial time to the School’s Civil Justice Clinic with a particular focus on immigration law. Amanda joins the Judicial Selection Commission from the office of Governor Ned Lamont where she served as Deputy Director of Legislative Affairs. Prior to 2020, she managed Governor Lamont’s legislative priorities in addition to providing strategic advisement regarding the legislative process. At the onset of the Covid-19 pandemic, she joined Executive Branch staff members and multiple state agencies to coordinate Connecticut’s pandemic response.

She previously worked at Yale School of Management and continues to serve as an Associate Fellow at Yale College where she serves as college advisor to first-generation and low-income (FGLI) first- and second-year students.

In addition to her experience in state government and academia, Amanda’s professional experience also spans community-based nonprofit work. After committing two years of full-time national service as an Americorps*VISTA, Amanda joined the team at Higher Edge, a college access program supporting FGLI students to and through postsecondary education. In that role, she created the organization’s college retention-based programming and subsequently served as its Program Director. Her belief that all students deserve access to strong mentors, a supportive community, and the tools and skills needed to open the doors to expanded opportunities has impacted her personal and professional trajectory ever since.

Amanda is a Phi Beta Kappa graduate of Connecticut College where she earned a B.A. in International Relations and did extensive travel and research in Latin America.

Thea Montanez

Thea Montañez, a Hartford native, was appointed Chief Operating Officer (C.O.O.) of the City of Hartford by Mayor Luke Bronin and the City Council in February 2020.  As C.O.O. of Connecticut's Capital City, Thea oversees nearly 1,500 employees, across (13) departments and manages an annual operating and capital budget of $600M and serves 124K residents.  In addition, she spearheads major City initiatives designed to address the needs of its immigrant community and justice-involved youth and adults.  Prior to that, she was the first woman in the City’s 236-year history to serve as Chief of Staff.

Before joining Mayor Bronin’s team, Thea was appointed by former Mayor Pedro Segarra as the Director of the North Hartford Promise Zone, a U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development program that partners with local leaders to increase economic activity, improve educational opportunities, reduce violent crime and improve public health in high poverty communities.  After initially moving to New York following her graduation from Syracuse University in 2001, she moved back to Hartford and became heavily involved in the community.  She worked for the MetroHartford Alliance, as Director of Operations for the Connecticut Convention Center, and at The Hartford Financial Services Group leading their local grant making and sponsorship program.  She later started her own consulting firm for marketing, communications and strategic planning, specializing in community affairs.

Ms. Montañez has served on numerous boards of not-for-profit organizations, like the Hartford Public Library, the Connecticut Public Broadcasting Network, and the University of Saint Joseph. Among other awards, she was named to Connecticut Magazine’s “40 under 40,” a Connecticut Women’s Alliance “Woman of Distinction,” and one of Connecticut’s 50 Most Influential Latinos by Latinos United for Professional Advancement.

Scott Storms

Scott Storms is a practicing attorney and general partner in the Law Firm of Storms & Storms in Windsor Locks, Connecticut.  He is a former state representative for the 60th House District, Windsor-Windsor Locks.  He has served on many state commissions in the past including the State of Connecticut Ethics Commission, the Windsor Locks Board of Education, the Windsor Locks Water Pollution Control Authority and the Windsor Locks Economics and Industrial Development Commission. He is a present member of the Windsor Locks Lions Club, a Special Master for Family Matters in the Connecticut Superior Court, and a member of both the Connecticut and Massachusetts Bar.

Scott lives in Windsor Locks and is married to Attorney Dale Anne Storms and has two boys, Drew and Kyle.

Elizabeth Keyes

Elizabeth Keyes has served as Legal Counsel to the Senate Democratic Caucus in the Connecticut General Assembly since 2015. She began her career at the Capitol as a Legislative Aide to then-Senate Majority Leader Martin M. Looney from 2003 to 2005. Following her graduation from law school, she had the great privilege to serve as a clerk in the Connecticut Appellate Court. From 2011 to 2014, Attorney Keyes was the Executive Assistant to the Commissioner of the Connecticut Department of Public Health where she developed a passion for health law and policy. She has served on the Connecticut Health Information Technology Exchange Board of Directors, the Tobacco and Health Trust Fund Board of Directors, and the Commission on Medicolegal Investigations.

Attorney Keyes was born and raised in New Haven and graduated from Hamden Hall Country Day School. She later attended the College of the Holy Cross, where she earned a Bachelor of Arts degree in Political Science. She graduated from the University of Connecticut in 2009 with a dual Juris Doctor and Master of Public Administration degree. While in law school she was an intern in the Office of United States Senior District Judge Peter C. Dorsey. She also served as Technology Editor of the Connecticut Public Interest Law Journal and President of the student chapter of the American Constitution Society for Law and Policy. Attorney Keyes is admitted to the bars of Connecticut and New York.

Attorney Keyes and her husband, John, live in Wethersfield where they are the beleaguered tenants in a house run by their two young sons. She is a member of the Wethersfield Democratic Town Committee, Wethersfield Moms Group and former Vice Chair of the Wethersfield Zoning Board of Appeals. 

Vice Chairperson, James "Jamie" Sullivan

Jamie practices in the areas of personal injury, commercial and corporate, professional and product liability, employment, education, consumer, construction and class action litigation. He is an AV rated lawyer with Martindale-Hubble.  He received his education and J.D. with Honors from the University of Connecticut School of Law, where he was Editor-In-Chief of the Connecticut Law Review and had received numerous academic awards. He received a B.A., summa cum laude, from Boston College in its honors program and was a member of Phi Beta Kappa and received the Scholar of the College Award.

Upon graduation from Law School, Jamie clerked for Justice Robert J. Callahan of the Connecticut Supreme Court. Jamie has lectured and given seminars on trial practice, legal ethics, legal writing, and various aspects of civil litigation before a number of groups.  He is a member of the American Board of Trial Advocates.  He has published a number of articles in the field of civil litigation, products liability, corporate liability, employment and constitutional law in the Connecticut Bar Journal, The Law Tribune, ABA Litigation Monograms, and The Connecticut Lawyer. He has tried many cases to verdict or judgment.  He co-authored a book “Connecticut legal ethics and malpractice,” the first such treatise of its kind in Connecticut. The third edition of this book was released in 2016. He is the co-author of a chapter on Connecticut tort law in Morton E. Daller’s “Tort Law Reference: A Fifty-State Compendium” and Connecticut product liability law in Daller’s “Product Liability Law: A Fifty-State Compendium.”

Attorney Sullivan is active in a number of professional and civic organizations. He is a member of the House of Delegates and Board of Governors of the Connecticut Bar Association. He is a past President of the Hartford County Bar Association and chair of its Professional Responsibility Committee.  He is on the board of editors of the Connecticut Law Tribune. Since 1993, he has been an editorial board member of the Connecticut Bar Journal and serves as its survey editor.

He is the immediate past president of the parish counsel at St. Thomas the Apostle Church. He lives in West Hartford, Connecticut with his wife Elizabeth and children Irene, Daniel and Grace.

William Welz

William (Bill) Welzjoined Gallo & Robinson as a lobbyist after six years serving the office of Governor Dannel P. Malloy. During that time, he served in a variety of positions, starting as the Executive Aide to the General Counsel, moving up to Senior Associate for Policy and Government Affairs and finally to Director of Policy. With his significant experience navigating the legislative process, he became a problem solver for the administration. He guided gubernatorial appointees through the confirmation process, moved the governor's priorities through the legislature and advised state agencies on policy positions and relations with the legislature and advocacy organizations.

Bill is a graduate of Eastern Connecticut State University and currently resides in Willington with his wife, Allison, his daughter, Eliza and his four-legged friend, Jax.