Governor Lamont Appoints Claire Coleman as Consumer Counsel
(HARTFORD, CT) – Governor Ned Lamont today announced that he is nominating Claire Coleman of Woodbridge to serve as consumer counsel for the State of Connecticut. In the position, which is a five-year term, Coleman will lead the Office of Consumer Counsel in its mission of advocating on behalf of Connecticut consumers on issues relating to electricity, natural gas, telecommunications, and water.
The office is an independent state agency authorized to participate on behalf of consumer interests in all administrative and judicial forums and in any matters in which the interests of consumers with respect to public utility matters may be involved.
“Claire’s expertise in energy law, investigations, and regulatory reform makes her a great fit to effectively advocate for the interests of all customers of electricity, gas, water, telephone, and cable services,” Governor Lamont said. “Above all, I am confident that she will be a staunch advocate on behalf of Connecticut’s utility consumers and effectively represent their interests before regulators, courts, and the legislature. At this critical time, when energy commodity prices are spiking globally due to the pandemic, we need a consumer counsel who will fight for affordable utility service for Connecticut residents and businesses. Claire is a brilliant, strong, and dedicated advocate who will work hard every day for consumers. I also want to express my appreciation for Rich Sobolewski, who has served as the acting consumer counsel for the past two years, and whose leadership has allowed the office to provide strong representation for the interests of Connecticut’s utility customers.”
“I thank Governor Lamont for giving me the opportunity to serve as the voice of consumers during this critical juncture of modernizing our electric grid and telecommunication networks,” Coleman said. “I am looking forward to joining the Office of Consumer Counsel and advocating on behalf of Connecticut consumers by working with state leaders, regulators, and stakeholders on innovative, equitable, and inclusive solutions that will improve the affordability, sustainability, and performance of our energy, water, and telecommunications utility infrastructure to the benefit of all consumers.”
Coleman is currently the undersecretary for legal affairs at the Connecticut Office of Policy and Management (OPM), where she has served since April 2019 providing legal and policy advice related to the formulation and implementation of the budget and public policy for the state. In this role, the Connecticut Conference of Municipalities recently honored her as a Municipal Champion for her work on emergency COVID-19 pandemic executive orders that supported the efforts of local governments to respond to and govern during the pandemic.
Coleman previously worked as an energy attorney at Save the Sound (formerly Connecticut Fund for the Environment), and as counsel to the U.S. House of Representatives Oversight and Government Reform Committee, where she conducted investigations into both private business practices and government programs and regulations, and prepared members of Congress for hearings on many areas of government policy and practice. She also worked as a litigation associate at Wiggin and Dana LLP in New Haven and Sullivan and Cromwell LLP in New York, and served as law clerk to the Honorable Ellen Bree Burns, United States District Judge for the District of Connecticut.
She earned a Bachelor of Arts degree in government from Cornell University, and a Juris Doctor from the Northwestern University School of Law.
Coleman will begin serving in the role on an interim basis beginning December 3. Her nomination for permanent confirmation will be forwarded to the Connecticut General Assembly for its consideration when the next regular legislative session begins in February.