Governor Ned Lamont’s General Counsel Nora Dannehy will leave the administration as she begins a second term to take up a position leading independent and internal investigations for the downtown Hartford law firm, Cowdery & Murphy.
Dannehy’s departure from his latest foray into public service had been expected for some time. Additionally, Lamont announced the long-planned departure of chief of staff Paul Mounds, whose future plans were uncertain.
Dannehy, a former senior federal prosecutor who has held senior positions in private industry, joined the Lamont administration in early 2021 upon the departure of then-General Counsel Robert W. Clark, who was appointed by Lamont to the State Court of Appeals.
Thomas Murphy, appointee at Cowdery & Murphy, said Dannehy will lead the firm’s business of conducting independent and outside investigations for government agencies, corporations, hospitals, universities and others.
“Nora brings a wealth of experience gained in multiple leadership roles in government and corporate law,” the firm said in a statement.
Prior to joining Lamont’s team, Dannehy held various positions for two decades with the U.S. Attorney’s Office in Connecticut, most of which involved leading complex investigations into white-collar and public corruption, two of which led to the sentencing of Governor John G. Rowland and State Treasurer Paul Silvester. She served two years as the acting U.S. Attorney.
In 2008, she was appointed by United States Attorney General Michael B. Mukasey to investigate the George W. Bush administration’s firing of nine federal prosecutors, ultimately finding no violation. A decade later, she joined former U.S. Attorney John Durham’s investigation into FBI decisions to eavesdrop on the 2016 Trump campaign and discredited allegations of collusion with Russian election interference, but resigned after about a year.
Dannehy also served as assistant attorney general to former state attorney general George Jepsen and worked in the private sector for six years as associate general counsel and chief compliance officer for United Technologies Corp.
She declined to comment.
Murphy said the company plans to rename itself Cowdery, Murphy, Dannehy & Healy.